By Bill Parry
Women in the city’s public schools, shelters and prisons will have access to free feminine hygiene products after Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a package of legislation Wednesday.
The bills were sponsored by City Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras-Copeland (D-East Elmhurst), who began a campaign with a free dispenser in a girl’s room at Corona’s High School for Arts and Businesses in September.
“Every young person should have their essential needs met in order to do well in school, and that includes having unfettered access to menstrual hygiene products,” Ferreras-Copeland said. “Today, I am proud to lead the nation towards menstrual equity by guaranteeing access to pads and tampons to hundreds of thousands of women and girls.”
The policy will apply to school buildings in which there are female students in grades 6 to 12. Schools will also host parent workshops and student information sessions about feminine hygiene products during the upcoming school year.
“There should be no stigma around something as fundamental as menstruation. The laws recognize that feminine hygiene products are a necessity — not a luxury,” de Blasio said. “Students should be able to concentrate on their studies, New Yorkers in shelters should be able to focus on rebuilding their lives, and women in our Correction Department should be able to work toward rehabilitation and release without the indignity of inadequate access to tampons and pads.”
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr