Book Leads Charge on Ending Menstrual 'Period Poverty'

Book Leads Charge on Ending Menstrual 'Period Poverty'

Personal hygiene in public schools is a major concern for lawmakers

Daniel Molina
Daniel Molina
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December 14, 2020

In an effort to expand her pro-women-and-girls legislative agenda, Florida Senator Lauren Book (D) has again filed legislation that would ensure girls attending Florida public schools have access to free menstrual cycle products.

In 2019, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) signed the Dignity for Incarcerated Women Act into law, which mandates that menstrual products be provided at no cost to female inmates in the sunshine state.

Now, Senator Book is looking to expand the helping for Florida women, introducing the “Learning with Dignity” bill that would require sanitary napkins/pads and tampons be provided in all-female restrooms in Florida’s K-12 public schools.

In a statement, the Florida lawmaker cited a recent study conducted by Always, which “revealed that, since the COVID-19 pandemic, 1 in 3 young people feel less confident because they’ve missed after school activities and 1 out of 3 parents are worried about their ongoing ability to afford period products – an issue known as period poverty.”

Book further explained that “one in five girls have either left school early or missed school entirely because they did not have access to menstrual products,” adding that “girls pay a price when these products aren’t free – and providing them will go a long way toward equity in education.”

It’s estimated that women yearly spend around $150 - $300 on menstrual products, which contributes to financial strain for low-income students. Taking into account that “twenty three percent of Florida’s children are living below the poverty level” and that “66 percent of public school children qualify for free or reduced price school lunch,” Book is leading the charge to provide assistance to these students to ensure that a financial strain does not contribute to the overall school performance of children that are in need.

Ashley Eubanks of the Beauty Initiative, which is a South Florida-based nonprofit that has provided over 400,000 hygiene necessities for women and girls, expressed that “a period should end a sentence, it shouldn’t end education.”

Daniel Molina

Daniel Molina

Daniel Molina holds a Bachelor’s in English Literature. His hobbies include reading, writing and watching films and basketball.

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