New York becomes the first city in the country to ensure that women receive free tampons and sanitary pads in schools, jails and shelters. This program is unique to the extent that its advocates argue hindrances to access of female hygiene products result in discrimination.
Back in March, New York City Council members had introduced proposals for free tampons and pads in city public school restrooms, homeless shelters and at correctional facilities.
Councilwoman Julissa Ferraras-Copeland is credited to have conducted the first pilot project providing hygiene products at a high school in Queens. She was supported by Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez and the Council speaker, Melissa Mark-Viverito whose resolution was to call upon the State Legislature to stop taxing sanitary products. New York does not tax groceries, prescription drugs or condoms, and only in the month of March this year, State Assembly had passed a bill to eliminate sales tax on tampons and pads.
But the current development is a landmark in every way. Founding partner of Women’s Rights in the Workplace, Jack Tuckner said –
“It is a great news that New York City will now require its public schools, homeless shelters and jails to offer free tampons and sanitary pads. What’s shocking is to realize that New York is the first and only city to do so. As feminine hygiene is a women’s health issue, women’s sanitary products should be free for all, all the time. Period. Let’s celebrate the fact that starting now, thousands of girls and women in NYC will not have to do without this essential right to human dignity, and for that I’m grateful to our Mayor and City Council.”