Last year, the New York City council voted in favor of providing free tampons and pads to women in public schools, shelters and correctional facilities. The measure passed unanimously, and the program will be the first of its kind.
It’s expected that the city will spend $2.4M for menstrual supplies across the public facilities. Within shelters, an estimated “2 million tampons and 3.5 million pads” will be distributed for the 23K women, costing $540K annually.
Here’s how it would work for public schools:
Dispensers will be installed in the girls’ bathrooms at 800 schools, reaching 300,000 students at an initial cost of $3.7 million and $1.9 million annually thereafter.
The bill was created by New York City Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland. Regarding why the bill was important, Ferreras-Copeland said, “Menstrual hygiene products are as necessary as toilet paper and should be treated as basic bathroom supplies.”
There’s also the fact that menstrual products are a necessary expense for women of childbearing age. This expense, which has been dubbed the “tampon tax” (though it refers to all types of menstrual products), takes a chunk (around $100 per year) out of women’s already diminished paychecks. Lately, there’s been some pushback on this price of being female-bodied: Last year, five women sued the state of New York to abolish the tampon tax.
No word on when the bill will become law, and the program can begin.