On Friday, October 8th, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed The Menstrual Equity Act, a bill that requires all California public schools and colleges to stock their restrooms with free menstrual products.
Previously, California had passed a 2017 law that requires low-income schools to stock restrooms with free menstrual products for their students.
This new bill builds onto that, expanding the law to include grades 6 through 12, community colleges, and the CSU system despite financial status. This bill takes effect at the beginning of the 2022-23 school year.
“California joins a growing number of states who lead the way in demonstrating that menstrual equity is a matter of human rights,” advocacy group PERIOD said in a statement, “No student should ever lose learning time due to their periods, period.”
This law follows California’s repealing the menstrual tax, an act also done earlier this year. The menstrual tax is a tax on menstrual products that is said to cost women an estimated $20 million a year.
Period poverty is something that still has a strong hold on many of those who menstruate each year and Newsom’s bill takes a huge leap in advancing menstrual equity for all California students.