Recognizing that lack of access to affordable menstrual products creates health risks and a higher level of absenteeism from work and school for women living in poverty, the United Nations has declared menstrual hygiene a public-health, gender-quality and human rights issue.
37 states, including Texas, continue to impose taxes on menstrual products as non-necessary items and therefore, taxable. We believe that state “tampon taxes” are inequitable and create a public health risk that can and should be avoided. At the federal level, we believe that menstrual products should be eligible for Flexible Spending account allowances and that food stamps and women, infant and children nutrition allowance should be expanded to allow those funds to be used for the purchase of menstrual products. Closer to home, we believe that menstrual products should be provided for free in public schools, at municipal public facilities and at homeless shelters run by counties and/or municipalities.
Our advocates are working on a proactive agenda to create menstrual equity at every level of governance and we are proud to support those efforts.
- More than 137,700 girls have missed school in the last year because they couldn’t afford menstrual products.
- In a report of 500 girls aged 10 to 18, seven percent have been forced to skip school during their period and the average number of days of school missed is five.
- 1 out of 4 of all girls have at some point been forced to use tissues or cotton wool, or double up on underwear, as they have not had the appropriate protection.