I’m a New Yorker. There’s no doubt about it. I’m a straight shooter and I know how to seamlessly devour a slice of pizza while weaving through NYC traffic and answering emails on my smart phone. Even after almost three years of living in Los Angeles, where I learned to slow things down a bit like the west coast so naturally induces one to do, the good ‘ole saying still rings true – “you can take a New Yorker out of New York, but you can’t take the New York out of a New Yorker. No matter where I lived or where my Maxim company travels took me, I’ve been advocating for menstrual health across the globe for over nine years now. You would think that after so many years, the conversation might be as stale for me as the Monday morning bagels at my old corner deli, but they’re actually more lively now than ever with New York based period policy actions leading the way.
Maybe it’s the hopeful and welcoming face of lady liberty that’s given NYC it’s edge in raising awareness for menstrual health initiatives through monumental policies. The new “fearless girl” statue down by Wall Street surely captures the sentiment too. Putting my New York pride aside though, the world is starting to wake up to being okay with talking about menstruation. Newsweek described it so beautifully in their most recent piece on the topic – Periods, Policy, and Politics; Menstrual Equity is the New Thing.
So congrats to me and you! Our voices have been heard! Now it’s time to walk the talk so that we can continue to grow the movement, seal our achievements in legislation and achieve new menstrual health victories not just in New York, but in all parts of the nation and world. Last week we shared some activities to partake in this week leading up to Menstrual Hygiene Day. For those of you who didn’t have time to coordinate a menstrual hygiene product drive, can’t make it to our workshop in New York City or head up to D.C. for a rally like we had suggested, here are some state, federal and global level change-making period policy actions you can take right now and right from the comfort of your own home:
New York State Period Policy Action: Bill A347, making menstrual care products more accessible in schools.
Background: New York State Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal, who previously passed a law to eliminate the sales tax on feminine hygiene products in New York, has introduced a bill (Assembly bill A347) to launch a pilot program to provide free feminine hygiene products in middle schools and high schools in 15 low-income districts across the State. There is a correlation between having access to menstrual care products and a girls ability to succeed in school. Our friends organizing Menstrual Hygiene Day even picked it as their campaign theme this year – “education about menstruation changes everything.” We need your help to get this bill passed.
Take Action: If you agree that schools should provide feminine hygiene products for students, please use this link to help you contact your State Assemblymember to express your support for Assembly bill A347 and then sign our petition here.
Federal Period Policy Action: The Menstrual Products Right to Know Act of 2017 (H.R. 2416)
Background: Representative Grace Meng (D-NY) was also a part of NYC Councilwoman Ferreras’ efforts last year in the passing of the monumental NYC bill that made menstrual care products accessible in schools for free for the first time in history. Inspired to target yet another menstrual issue touched upon by another fellow NY State Legislator, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Representative Meng reintroduced a bill that would require all manufacturers of tampons and pads to disclose product ingredients and label them accordingly. As our friends at Women’s Voices for the Earth like to say, let’s “put an end to the secrets!” Considering the purity of the ingredients used in Maxim organic tampons and natural cotton sanitary pads, we’ve always been open about labeling our products. We want everyone to have the same chance to learn about the materials in their products.
Take Action: If you want to have the right to make an intelligible choice about which products you use in your most absorbent body parts, tell your representative to support this legislation by using this easy form to help write and send your opinion straight to your local representative.
Global Period Policy Action: #ItsBloodyTime, Tell world leaders to prioritize menstrual hygiene management
Background: Global Citizen has given our global generation a chance to unite and create social changes that are fueling the end to poverty. Focusing on a range of topics from health to finance, their collective community has been able to create 130 commitments and policy announcements from world leaders that included financial aid valued at over $30 billion to help positively impact over 1 billion lives! One of their latest campaigns calls on world leaders to prioritize menstrual hygiene for girls in schools.
Take Action: If you want to see more girls complete their education and grow the global economy, while earning points to win free entrance to concerts by amazing musicians like Coldplay, take action here with Global Citizen.
These are just a few ways to keep Period Policy Activism strong and growing. I hope you’ll join my New York state of mind and also help kill a bit of my ego behind it by taking one of these actions before the end of the month to prove to your state, nation and the world that menstruation does indeed matter.
WIN a $40.00 Gift Certificate
#HealthyMenstruation matters too, so to help spread the message about Period Policy Activism and in light of the 40 million women in the U.S. alone who are living in poverty and unable to afford menstrual hygiene products, we’re giving away four $40.00 gift certificates to our online store. To qualify to win, take action on one or all of the three initiatives and then email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with proof that you took one of these actions. All of those who sign up with the petitions for the state and federal actions will automatically get enrolled in to the giveaway.