As of May 3, 2022, Hawaii has approved SB2821, making them the sixth state requiring pads and tampons to be offered for free in schools to students. Hawaii Bill SB2821 requires the state Department of Education to provide free menstrual products to students at all public school campuses. The bill will take effect on July 1, 2022.
Behind the legislation are Hawaii State Teachers Association member and educator Sarah Milianta-Laffin and her Ilima Intermediate School students. They have been advocating for menstrual equity for the past three years, arguing that period products should be treated as essential school supplies (and we at Aunt Flow couldn’t agree more).
Several people are spearheading the menstrual movement in Hawaii and actively supporting their communities’ menstrual needs. Niki-Ann Yee and her sister Brandy-Lee founded Ma’i Movement Hawai’i in October 2020 to take aim at menstrual inequity and work to understand the prevalence of period poverty.
Another menstrual movement champion in Hawaii is Senator Laura Acasio. Senate Bill 966 was first introduced by Acasio in January 2021, requiring menstrual products to be made freely available to students in public secondary schools.
While this legislation did not progress, Senator Acasio and her colleagues introduced Senate Concurrent Resolution (S.C.R.) 100 and Senate Resolution (S.R.) 77 in March 2021 to ensure future conversations surrounding menstrual equity in all public schools occur.
More states are drafting AND passing legislation that requires schools, businesses, and public spaces to offer free period products. Check out our legislation map to see if your state is one of them! Or if you need AF products at your school, check out our website.
The fight to end period poverty is more critical than ever. Hawaii’s approval of SB2821 is just the beginning of a meaningful and impactful revolution, and we’re here for it.