Converse up now: the US is lagging behind in terms of making menstrual merchandise accessible

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Speak up now: the US is lagging behind when it comes to making menstrual products accessible

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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced last week that all schools in New Zealand would offer free menstrual products to students for at least three years. This is a significant step forward for the world to make menstrual products more accessible and to remove the stigma associated with menstruation.

Millions of people around the world do not have access to adequate menstrual supplies, including pads and tampons. This is a very basic health need that nations around the world need to make more accessible. Especially during the pandemic, people in the United States found it difficult to purchase historical products. So bad steps are necessary.

Scotland was the first country to take a significant step towards combating this problem last November when the Scottish Parliament decided to make contemporary products free for anyone who needed them. Given the size of the U.S. population, activists have suggested that making contemporary products completely free would be difficult, especially without prior action. Regardless, action must be taken at all levels and in different environments to make contemporary products more accessible and possibly free everywhere.

“Regardless of this, measures must be taken at all levels and in different environments to make contemporary products more accessible and possibly to make them free everywhere.”

With the new New Zealand law, schools across the country will offer menstrual products for free. In the US, however, only a few states currently do this, including California, Illinois, New York, and New Hampshire. Thirty states in the United States also have a “tampon tax” that taxes necessary menstrual products as “luxuries”, making those products unaffordable for many. Menstrual products are taxed to the point that states make approximately $ 150 million annually from these taxes.

Connecticut has no tampon tax. However, schools are not required to offer free menstrual products. In fact, it was proposed in 2017, but it didn’t become law. School authorities may or may not offer menstrual products on a voluntary basis.

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Having a period is neither a luxury nor a choice. Menstrual products are basic, necessary health products and should be treated as such. Menstruating people shouldn’t have to worry month after month about whether they have the basic health products they need to get through the day.

And this should extend beyond schools – products from the time should be made more accessible to all. Part of this struggle is to combat the stigma of periods.

This stigma begins with the idea that menstruation should be considered a taboo subject. Many likely remember the day in 5th grade when students were divided into different rooms to watch videos of their “changing bodies”. We were told to keep sanitary towels and tampons in small purses so that no one could see them, and to use euphemisms for the word “period” because people felt uncomfortable. What if it didn’t? What if people were taught that it wasn’t a dirty process and that people should talk about it?

“We were told to keep pads and tampons in small purses so that no one could see them, and we should use euphemisms for the word” period “because people felt uncomfortable.”

If menstruating people were taught at a young age to talk about menstruation, and they weren’t ostracized for it, the laws might have changed much sooner. Legislators and government officials have not talked about menstruation in general for years. As a result, it was almost impossible to make changes.

The US is not exactly known for its accessible health care. The whole system must change dramatically so that proper health care becomes a human right rather than a luxury. Changing the way the United States handles menstruation is a critical step in making this happen.

Countries like the US have to follow in the footsteps of countries like New Zealand and Scotland, and countries like Canada, Australia, South Africa, India and the UK that have abolished the tax on menstrual products are neither a choice nor a luxury and should be not be treated as such.