Assemblymember Cristina Garcia introduced Bill AB-367 on February 1, 2021. The bill would require public schools that have any combination of classes from grades 6 to 12 to stock at least 50% of the school’s restrooms with free menstrual care products. The bill would also require the California State University and each community college district to stock 50% of all campus restrooms with free menstrual care products. Lastly, AB-367 would require a public agency to stock 50% of all restrooms that are open to the public or used by employees with free menstrual care products.
According to the Public Policy Institute of California, “One in eight California women are poor, compared to one in 10 California men. Women account for almost 80 percent of single parents living with children, and 28 percent of them have incomes below the federal poverty threshold ($14,824 for a mother with two children in 2003). Nineteen percent of single women living alone are poor. In married-couple families, only 7 percent of women are poor. Among poor women between the ages of 25 and 59, 36 percent work, 25 percent have a working husband, and 25 percent rely on public assistance as their main income source.” As a result, women and other menstruators who are poor or struggling financially do not have access to menstrual care products.
Because of the high poverty rates among women, many menstruators are forced to resort to unhygienic alternatives such as socks, bags, garbage, paper towels, rags, and more. This can cause serious health consequences such as infections.
Menstrual hygiene would advance California’s goals for education and the economy. By providing menstruators with the appropriate products, girls and women will no longer have the barrier of their periods to stop them from attending school or work. Along with these benefits comes advancing gender equity. Viewing period products as a human right and not as luxuries will promote equality in California.
Please reach out to your Senators, and if possible, ask two of your friends/family to do the same.
Here is a link for how to contact your State Senator: https://www.senate.ca.gov/senators
Thank you for taking action!