CALIFORNIA – As part of petitions from women’s rights advocates, who demand that intimate hygiene products be sold at more affordable prices, the California government issued a law that these items be provided free of charge in public schools.
During the past week the governor of California, Gavin Newsom, signed a law so that the public schools and universities of the state have feminine pads and tampons, among other feminine cleaning articles, in the restrooms of the students.
Cristina Garcia, a Democratic Assemblywoman, began this effort in 2017, basing her argument on that they should have these products for free in low-income schools and unfavorable areas.
This law states that menstrual products must be in the restrooms in public schools, grades 6-12, community colleges and California State University systems, beginning in the 2022-2023 school year.
Garcia commented that in the case of women “our biology does not always send advance warning when we are about to start menstruating, which often means that we have to stop what we are doing and deal with a period”.
“Just as toilet paper and paper towels are provided in virtually all public restrooms, menstrual products should also be provided”, she said.
This measure comes as several states ask their legislators to make menstrual products free in public schools.
Marisa Garza, a teacher from California, indicated that in current times, implementing these laws are of great help for adolescents and young people with low economic resources.
“You might think that all the girls carry a packet of sanitary napkins among their belongings, but unfortunately this is not the case. I always carry a packet of towels in my bag because I know that girls suddenly get their periods and they suffer accidents staining their clothes because they were not prepared or because they are just adapting to this change in their life”, she said.
It also happens that some do not have the resources to buy these products, especially at present when many families still do not fully recover from the pandemic and the money they earn working is mainly invested in paying for services and buying food, she said.
The nonprofit group PERIOD noted that “California joins a growing number of states leading the way in demonstrating that menstrual equity is a human rights issue”.
Through a press release, the group reported that “no student should lose learning time due to their periods, period”.
California also previously repealed a tax on menstrual products that costs women an estimated total of $ 20 million a year.
While the group Women’s Voices for the Earth has shown its disagreement against several states, as they continue to impose taxes on these items, as if it were a luxury purchase.