By: Sami Sharfin
On October 18, Cleveland City Councilwoman Jasmin Santana proposed a bill that would make menstrual products freely accessible at City Hall, city parks and recreation centers.
The legislation specifically highlights the need for such products among vulnerable and low-income communities. The bill states that, “on average, one [menstruator] spends $13.25 each month on menstrual products, totaling about $6,360 in [their] reproductive lifetime.”
While this is the most recent win for menstruators in Ohio, such efforts have been years in the making all over the state. In 2017, Councilmember Elizabeth Brown launched the first pilot program of its kind to supply city rec centers and homeless shelters around Columbus with free products.
After the start of the pilot program proved to be a knockout success, the Columbus City Council passed legislation mandating that menstrual products be provided in all parks and rec centers across the city in 2019.
“It’s critically important to provide menstrual products, in the same way that we provide toilet paper,” said Brown. “Having a period and going to the bathroom are bodily functions that no one can prevent and if anything, when we do not provide and accommodate for menstrual products, it adds to the stigma of periods that make young girls feel ashamed for no reason.”
A poll conducted by the NewYork Post found that 58% of women have felt embarrassed simply due to the fact that they were menstruating.
Columbus School for Girls, Worthington Public Schools and United Schools Network are among the education institutions that are working towards reversing this stigmatized narrative by providing Aunt Flow products in their bathrooms.
Our team is here to help you advocate for our quality, free menstrual products in your restrooms. You can reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, learn more about advocacy from our blog, or simply submit our Get A Quote Form to get FLOWING!
Sami Sharfin is a freelance writer, content creator and current senior at Indiana University-Bloomington.