Gov. Andrew Cuomo is reminding school leaders that all school districts with students in grades six through 12 must provide free feminine hygiene products in restrooms, following a new law that went into effect July 1.
The new legislation was part of Cuomo’s Women’s Opportunity Agenda. He says that public schools must determine the types of products to make available to students, which includes menstrual pads and tampons.
"Stigma and a lack of access to feminine hygiene products negatively impacts teen girls who miss valuable class time – sometimes days – because the items they need are not readily available,” said MaryEllen Elia, commissioner of the state Education Department. “By providing free menstrual products in school bathrooms, we are removing barriers for some of our most vulnerable girls, helping them feel more confident and ensuring they spend more time in school."
Cuomo says that research from the World Bank shows that girls’ inability to manage their menstrual hygiene in school results in them being absent from school, which can in turn have severe economic costs on their lives.
"New York leads the nation is breaking down barriers to equality, and this legislation is a critical step forward in ensuring every girl in New York has the same opportunities to grow into a confident, successful woman," Cuomo said in a news release. "By providing all students with equal access to these products, we are creating a stronger, healthier New York for all."
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