Fotos593/ShutterstockGetting your period every single month is hard enough without adding extra financial challenges and an emotional burden to it. For many girls and women, not just in developing countries but right here in the US, menstruation is a much tougher experience than it should be, because they have limited access to menstrual hygiene items. That's why Rep. Grace Meng, a Democratic Congresswoman who represents Queens, New York, introduced the Menstrual Equity for All Act of 2017 (H.R. 972) earlier this month.
The legislation includes five provisions to help different populations of women and girls get better access to tampons and pads.
In an op-ed Meng wrote about the legislation for MarieClaire.com, she explains that her bill would help increase access and reduce the cost of monthly menstrual supplies for many American women by directing employers with 100 or more employees in their company to provide tampons and pads to their employees free of charge, providing a refundable tax credit to low-income individuals who regularly use menstrual hygiene products, and allowing individuals to buy tampons and pads with money they contribute to their flexible spending accounts.
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Did you know that there are girls who skip school when they get their periods? If they can't afford pads or tampons and don't want anyone to see they've stained their clothes, they may feel like they have no choice. That's not just something that happens in developing countries. It happens right here in the United States. Right in my home district of Queens, New York.