Menstrual Equity For All
Menstrual Equity For All
(TRENTON, NJ) August 23, 2023 -- The Flow Initiative celebrates the state of New Jersey passing Bill A1349, which mandates public schools to provide free menstrual health products to students in grades 6 through 12 and requires the state to pay costs. Today, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed the bill into law, signaling the state's commitment to address rising rates of period poverty which is the lack of access to menstrual health products.
While period poverty is relatively new in some U.S. communities, lack of access to menstrual health products has been an ongoing issue in New Jersey. The Flow Initiative's State of The Flow Survey found that 52% of students have had a menstrual accident because they did not have access to menstrual health products. At the same time, 74% of students said that they would benefit from access to free menstrual health products outside of school.
"Today is a momentous victory for the menstrual health movement, and I am incredibly honored to have been here in Trenton to see Bill A1349 signed into action. Since 2019, The Flow Initiative has been on the frontlines of menstrual equity, and the bill is a testament to our collective efforts to advance change," said Eiko La Boria, Founder of The Flow Initiative. "For decades, period poverty has prevented women, girls, and menstruating people from achieving dignified menstruation. They have missed school, work, and professional development opportunities from not having access to menstrual health products. Today, we chart a new course in New Jersey, and I hope others will follow our lead to end period poverty nationwide."
In June 2022, The Flow Initiative testified at the New Jersey State Assembly's Women and Children Committee of the New Jersey State, alongside many of the organization's partners, including the National Council of Jewish Women, Essex County Section (NCJW/Essex), Hospeco, The Community Food Bank of New Jersey, the League of Women Voters, Girls Helping Girls. Period, Aunt Flow, and students from North Star Academy in Newark. The Assembly voted unanimously to pass the bill, and Governor Murphy signed the bill into law today.
"The passing of Bill A1349 is a testament to government leaders and grassroots organizations coming together to accelerate real change in the menstrual health movement. I commend Governor Murphy for setting an example for other states to follow and address the systemic inequities that arise from period poverty," said Sabrina Browne, Partner at The Flow Initiative. "Period poverty impacts everyone who menstruates, and it is exacerbated by the fact that menstrual health products are typically not publicly funded in budgets for schools, shelters, and crisis emergency centers. It’s imperative we address period poverty, and the bill is a step in the right direction to drive change in our local communities."
Founded by La Boria, The Flow Initiative is a national menstrual health organization that has distributed more than 1 million products to women, girls, and the LGBTQ+ community. La Boria works with her partner, Browne, to conduct educational workshops on menstrual health, advance menstrual health legislation, and partner with local and national organizations to reach those in need. La Boria and Browne have made an impact from New Jersey to Turkey, working to achieve menstrual equity for all, and the passing of Bill A1349 is the latest example of The Flow Initiative's mission in action.
To support The Flow Initiative's efforts, you can donate to the organization's GoFundMe to end period poverty and achieve menstrual equity for all.