Menstruation is normal
This campaign is to ensure access to menstrual products at any publicly accessible restroom located within the geographic boundaries of Los Angeles County for everyone who needs it without disruption in their daily routine.
Menstruation is a normal, healthy, natural phenomenon that occurs monthly during the entirety of adolescent and adult lifetimes of those with a uterus (women, transgender males, non-binary people). The subject of menstruation has long been taboo. The silence and stigma surrounding periods have negative consequences on the overall well-being and, historically, social status of those who menstruate. More important is the impact that menstruation has on daily life. Bleeding through clothes or not being able to perform at work or fulfill responsibilities because of heavy or painful periods has long been ignored.
This is a call to the County Supervisors to promote true gender equality by promoting menstrual health and equity in Los Angeles County at work or in any public place. The County Supervisors should make the broader public aware that the uterus has natural, healthy physiologic functions. They should proclaim access to menstrual products a necessity rather than a luxury and require the accessibility of menstrual products wherever there is a bathroom in public places. Gender equality cannot be achieved without ensuring menstrual equity.
Women in low-income communities in Los Angeles County living below the federally determined poverty line often face economic inequality. They are at a significant disadvantage as they are often unable to afford the cost of menstrual products. Efforts to reduce "Period Poverty" in these communities will empower women, improve their health, enhance their reproductive health, and ultimately bring a broader sense of gender equality and a healthier society. The County Supervisors must make a commitment to end "Period Poverty" for the residents of low socioeconomic communities in the County by promoting equitable access to menstrual products. Women in these communities face financial hardship and must make sacrifices to make ends meet. Often, they have to make a choice between family needs and menstrual products and so resort to rags and other unhealthy measures to manage their menstruation. Inability to pay for the high cost of period products due to financial stress affects their dignity, self-worth, and social status. Access to menstrual products will reduce "Period Poverty" and have a significant positive impact on the family happiness and will promote their full participation in society.
Promote Menstrual Equity
The County must make sure that menstrual products are available free of charge at homeless shelters, domestic violence shelters, in every restroom at a County-owned premise, including medical centers, clinics, schools, parks, camping and recreational centers, courts, prisons, transportation stations, libraries, museums, arts centers, etc.
In addition, the County must mandate that menstrual products are readily accessible (optionally for free or for a charge) at all restrooms located in any premise that is open to serve the public, for visitors, customers, and their employees. This includes, but not limited to, all privately-owned buildings and businesses that serve the public such as restaurants, banks, department stores, supermarkets, pharmacy/drug stores, municipalities, medical, dental buildings/clinics, spas, movie theaters, private colleges and universities, sports arenas, arts centers, hotels, shopping centers, places of worship and any religious community open to the public, cemeteries, etc.
Period Friendly LA
Very often, periods can arrive unexpectedly, or one may experience unusually heavy and irregular cycles due to perimenopause, uterine fibroids, or other conditions such as endometriosis. More broadly, our society must understand that periods are natural healthy occurrences and recognize the needs of all citizens equally. “Periods” embarrassment and humiliation must stop. Access to safe and effective period products must be provided so that menstruation is managed with dignity. Period products must be recognized as a necessity; they are not luxuries and must be made readily available in every restroom just like toilet paper, tissues, napkins, seat covers and soap. The needs of people at the time of menstruation must not be ignored.
The Supervisors should advocate that period are natural to humans and make every effort possible to make sure that Los Angeles is a period friendly County. It is incumbent upon the County Supervisors to adopt policies and programs that foster menstrual awareness and to ensure access to menstrual products when the need arises.
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