May 1st, 2015

Just Enough Information: a movement to improve access to feminine hygiene products

http://kristof.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/04/22/helping-women-and-girls-period-part-two/

Rosie's Place gets a mention, even.

TL;DR? Working to improve access to feminine hygiene products in the developed world for the poor, including free products at job centers, organizations collecting donations, working to eliminate sales tax on these necessary items, include them on eligibility lists for Flexible Spending Accounts, etc.

Part of the article describes positive response to an earlier article by the author, by organizations such as Kaiser.

http://kristof.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/01/28/helping-women-and-girls-period/?_r=0

In that earlier article, Nancy Kramer's TED talk and campaign, Free the Tampon is described (they don't charge us for TP and soap in the 'strooms at stores and restaurants -- why charge for tampons?).

I have some quibbles, notably with the idea of giving a multi-month supply at a time. For some women, this probably makes a great deal of sense (especially perimenopausal women, for whom a single month's supply might disappear in a day or two, and the "multi-month" supply would enable them to get to work every day of their period and save them trips to the laundry as well). However, space constraints can be an issue (maybe not for tampons, but certainly for pads) and I've seen entirely too much product bought ahead of time get lost or destroyed (ever seen a toddler get interested in a box of tampons?) to think that this is the best solution all around. Particularly if this is being handled in a food pantry context, it would be best to let the person in need decide what it is they need and when they need it. They know their lives best.