- 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
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.