New York will soon become the first city in the country that will require homeless shelters, public schools, and jails to give out free sanitary pads and tampons to their female residents. The tampon equity law was discussed on a national level after the authorities estimated the amount of money a woman spends on menstruation supplies and decided that the costs are to high to be afforded by every female resident of the city.
According to Democratic member Bill de Blasio, the proposal was constructed with women’s financial struggle in mind. De Blasio is a woman’s advocate and believes that the barrier between the females and the financial costs of monthly menstruation should not pose a barrier, especially in state institutions like schools and shelters.
An average tampon costs approximately $6 per box (which usually contains 6 or 12 individual tampons, depending on the quality of the product). Hygiene rules dictate that the sanitary object must be changed once every three to five hours. A regular menstruation lasts for five to seven days, so mathematically, a woman spends approximately $100 – $150 per month only for menstruation hygiene products.
If approved, the tampon equity law will ensure free sanitary pads and tampons for more than 300,000 schoolgirls, 23,000 homeless women, and they will become standard jail sanitary supplies.
Juliana Ferreras-Copeland, a city councilwoman, and Democrat, declared that “tampons are as necessary as toilet paper,” so they should be made as available. In order to get her point across, Ferreras-Copeland waved a tampon during the meeting. She wanted to show that the matter, even if it is as common as sneezing and needing a Kleenex, it is still considered taboo by the most. Her audacious move convinced even the more conservative lawmakers that there is a dire need for these objects in public institutions.
The estimate costs for the 3.5 million pads and 2 million tampons (in shelters alone) is of $2.5 million per year. The budget of New York is of $82 billion.
Advocates of the tampon equity law state that if the measures are accepted, the hygiene products will be more readily available due to their location. Sanitary pads and tampons are already available in schools in the nurse’s office, however, the new proposal will place them in restrooms, considerably cutting down on the time spent dealing with the monthly occurrence.
Are free tampons a sign that women are finally treated equally? Will they improve the quality of life of the receivers? Let us know in the section below.
Image source: Wikipedia