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The New York City Council voted to pass legislation that would make period products more inclusive AND accessible.

New York City Council Passes Legislation to Improve Period Product Accessibility and Inclusivity

December 18, 2023

On December 6, the New York City Council voted to pass legislation that would make period products more inclusive AND accessible. 

  • Legislation S.1522/A.1296 replaces the phrases ‘feminine hygiene products’ and ‘sanitary napkins’ with gender non-specific ‘menstrual products’
  • Legislation S.5913A/A.113A requires menstrual products to be provided to students for free in private middle and high school student restrooms.

These bills would require all laws, documents and materials from the City to adopt gender-inclusive terminology of “period products” or “menstrual products” rather than “feminine hygiene products.” The legislation would also help expand access to period products across schools and leased/operated facilities by the Department of Education. 

Menstrual equity stands as a fundamental pillar of gender justice in New York City. Access to menstrual hygiene products is not merely a matter of personal convenience, which far too few women have access to—it is a matter of dignity, health, and equality. The ability to manage menstruation with dignity and without financial burden is an essential aspect of ensuring equal opportunities for all individuals, irrespective of gender, which is a key component of our bill package.

City Council Member Amanda Farias
City Council Press Conference on Menstrual Equity on Dec 6, 2023. Credit: Gerardo Romo / NYC Council Media Unit

City Council Press Conference on Menstrual Equity on Dec 6, 2023. Credit: Gerardo Romo / NYC Council Media Unit

Menstrual Education

In collaboration with the Commission on Gender Equity, NYC’s Department of Education will now be responsible for sharing information on menstruation with every student from grades 4-12. 

Additionally, the Department of Correction would be required to provide annual reports on the amount of period products ordered and distributed to those in custody within the department. 

Menstrual Equity Legislation in New York

With this package in mind, New York City and New York State have been known to be progressive regarding menstrual equity legislation. New York City was the first city in the U.S. to pass legislation requiring free period products to be available for students, shelter residents and incarcerated people in 2016 under former Mayor Bill de Blasio. The state also removed the tampon tax in 2021 under former Governor Andrew Cuomo.

📣 Check out our legislation map and see if your state has passed menstrual legislation AND use our email template to ask your school to stock Aunt Flow pads and tampons!

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claire coder,founder + ceo

claire coder,
founder + ceo

Hi! I’m Claire. I founded Aunt Flow after getting my period in public without the supplies needed.

At 18 years old, I dedicated my life to developing a solution to ensure businesses and schools could sustainably provide quality period products, for free, in bathrooms. Our products are made with organic cotton and we are constantly working to reduce our environmental impact! Since 2021, we've donated over 5 MILLION period products to menstruators in need. I call this people helping people. PERIOD.®

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