Ahh high school: exotic strains of algebra, random gym class activities, and frantically asking your friends if they have a spare tampon before yours expires.
One NYC Councilwoman wants to eradicate that last totem of adolescence by ensuring public high schoolers have free access to tampons and feminine hygiene products. Julissa Ferreras, who serves the 21st district in Queens, is making moves to make the "tampon shuffle" a thing of the past.
When I worked at the Beacon Program in Corona, young girls would skip class because they preferred that to asking staff for pads or risk staining their clothes. In a city where we hand out free condoms, we should be making essential feminine hygiene products more affordable and accessible. It's a matter of avoiding health risks, affordability and women's equality.
Globally, lack of access to feminine hygiene products keeps young girls out of school; in fact, a 2013 study by UNICEF found that 10 percent of girls in Africa missed school during their period. Think about that: one week each month adds up to about 25 percent of the school year.
The stigma associated with menstruation has long been utilized to oppress women and keep them from feeling welcome in public spaces. Organizations like Pads4Girls and Huru International provide women and girls in developing countries with menstrual products that are washable and reusable—for years. Products that can be washed and reused help cut down on the financial burden placed squarely on women for menstruating in the first place, and can help keep adolescent girls from missing school and feeling behind in their classes.
A national group of pediatricians already advocated for free condoms for high schoolers, and the time has come for tampons and pads as well. Sex is a choice; menstruating is not. Ferreras' initiative would help remove the stigma attached to menstruation that asks women to apologize for their bodies, and free tampons would only help to keep more young women in school- which is exactly where we need them.
- ^ Facebook: (www.facebook.com)
- ^ a 2013 study by UNICEF (unesdoc.unesco.org)
- ^ Pads4Girls (lunapads.com)
- ^ Huru International (www.glamour.com)
- ^ A national group of pediatricians already advocated for free condoms for high schoolers (pediatrics.aappublications.org)
- ^ https://www.facebook.com/Julissa.Ferreras (www.facebook.com)
Source : http://feeds.glamour.com/c/35377/f/665037/s/472ed2c3/sc/33/l/0L0Sglamour0N0Cinspired0Cblogs0Cthe0Econversation0C20A150C0A60Cfree0Etampons0Eschools/story01.htm
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