Bill addresses ‘period poverty’ for public, charter school students

Posted on Jun 27, 2022 in Capitol Connection, Featured, Main
Governor and Mrs. Ige with students, legislators and other advocates for SB 2821.

Governor and Mrs. Ige with students, legislators and other advocates for SB 2821.

Inequity comes in many forms — some obvious, others not so much, and known only to those who suffer in silence. “Period poverty” or the inability to access menstrual products is one such issue that can present challenges for young students who are homeless or are in low-income households, individuals who identify as non-binary or transgender, or those who have a history of involvement with the justice system.

Governor Ige has signed into law SB 2821 that addresses this inequity and requires the state Department of Education and the State Public Charter School Commission to provide menstrual products free of charge to their students. A 2021 pilot project by Ma‘i Movement Hawai‘i found that 8 out of 10 students had difficulties accessing menstrual products in school, indicating embarrassment, cost and education as major barriers. “Period poverty is a real issue for young people and can be a barrier to their right to a meaningful education,” said the governor. He also thanked Sen. Michelle Kidani, Senate President Ron Kouchi and Rep. Della Au Belatti as well as the many young people who he said were “instrumental” in the passage of bill.

Read more in the July Capitol Connection newsletter.

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