Half of the world's population is female, meaning half of the world's population menstruates. But, still today, in many places pads and tampons are treated and taxed as "luxury" items.
Recently, an American politician argued against a bill that would provide female prisoners with easier access to free menstrual products, saying that prison is “not meant to be a country club.”
Fortunately, the bill proposed was denied on March 15, according to tweets from Bangor Daily News reporter Alex Acquisto. "Quite frankly, and I don't mean this in any disrespect, the jail system and the correctional system was never meant to be a country club,” Pickett said, according to a tweets. “They have a right to have these and they have them. If that wasn't the case, then I would be supporting the motion, but they do."
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In 2016, Women’s Health reported that in the past menstruating female inmates have been forced to fashion everything from notebook paper to dirty shower sheets into makeshift pads and tampons.
The situation is not dissimilar for Australian women. Last year, Debbie Kilroy, a lawyer and advocate for group Sisters Inside, told the SMH that difficult access to sanitary products for women in jail has been "an ongoing complaint for decades".
Australia removed its 10% tax on pads and tampons in January of this year.
At the end of the day, tampons and pads shouldn’t be seen as a luxury; they should be seen as a basic right that ensures a basic level of hygiene and sanitation for female inmates.