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Washington, D.C. Libraries, Rec Centers, Shelters and More Required to Provide FREE Period Products

Washington, D.C. Libraries, Rec Centers, Shelters and More Required to Provide FREE Period Products 

November 23, 2022

On Nov. 15, Washington, DC legislators unanimously passed a NEW period equity bill, and here’s everything you need to know:

Officially titled the “Period Equity Righting an Injustice of Districts Residents Act of 2022,” the bill requires ALL public buildings to offer free period products. Such buildings include libraries, shelters, recreational centers and congregate care facilities. 

This piece of legislation follows another bill introduced by Ward 2 Councilmember Brook Pinto that requires all public, charter, private and post-secondary schools in the District to provide free period products to students. The “Period Act” was first introduced by Pinto in March 2021. 

What does this mean for D.C. residents?

With its passage, government-owned and government-operated buildings must offer free pads and tampons in all women’s and gender-neutral bathrooms. In buildings with no gender-neutral bathrooms, the bill states that products must be made available in at least one men’s bathroom. 

“Women, transgender men and nonbinary people who menstruate need access to free menstrual products – a health necessity each month,” Pinto said in a press release. “We have seen the associated costs and burdens of accessing these products fall disproportionately on people of color and lower-income families.” 

Experts have found that a lack of access to pads and tampons directly correlates to food insecurity and period poverty, suggesting that approximately 10.6% of D.C. residents experience trouble accessing period products.

Not only does this bill focus on access to underserved communities, but Pinto said it also reinforces the idea that such access is a basic human right.

“This bill is another step towards overcoming the stigma surrounding menstruation and treating access to period products similarly to toilet paper – a product everyone agrees is a basic necessity and can be readily found in public buildings and places,” Pinto said.

With more and more cities and states passing similar legislation, make sure to stay up-to-date with our legislation map! 🫶

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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.®