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The supply of feminine hygiene products is discussed in Assembly Bill No. 10, 2017. Christina Garcia, an assemblywoman well known for her commitment to supporting the rights of the girl child, introduced the measure. The bill would mandate a high school with a mix of grades 6 through 12 that has 40% of its students in poverty to have feminine grooming supplies in 50% of the school's bathrooms. The law would as well prohibit the public schools from charging the pupils for any menstrual products, and the implementation of this bill will require a state-mandated local program. This legislation is an addition to the Education Code on hygiene which requires all public and private schools in California to maintain restrooms which are clean and equipped with soap and paperer supplies. If the Commission of State Mandate establishes that the bill has expenditures authorized by the state, reimbursement will be made following the California Constitution. The bill holds a great promise for the girls of the State of California, and therefore, it is prudent for an assemblywoman or woman to vote for this bill. This Bill promotes equality of all girls despite their economic background, increases the access of girls to education, contributes to public health and promotes the dignity of all women.
The Bill Promotes Equality of All
One of the defining traits of United States is the assertion and commitment to treating everyone equally. This means that despite one's economic background, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender, they are entitled to the same treatment and opportunities as everyone else. Voting this bill will contribute to equality in some ways. One of the ways is that it will ensure that girls from poor backgrounds have the same educational opportunities like their counterparts who come from well-off families. In most cases, girls who cannot afford tampons or pads choose to stay at home hence when they undertake similar exams, girls from wealthier families perform better than those from low-income households (Langford et al., p.167). This leads to inequality which is against the aspirations of the founding fathers. Secondly, the bill will ensure that girls can compete on a fairground with the boys in their class. This is because they will not be disadvantaged as a result of their biological needs (Jewitt et al., p.138). When girls miss school, boys get a competitive edge since they cover the syllabus with the teachers and when the girl comes back to school, she lags behind in understanding the subject content.
Part of equality is to respect the needs of every member of the population. By providing the girls with tampons and pads, the state will be communicating that it values girls and that no matter their economic background, they have a right to go after their dreams (Winkler, Inga & Roaf, p.56). Additionally, it is noteworthy to state that all schools and public institutions are stocked with tissue papers hence no one has to pay for them when attending to a biological need. In the same measure, girls should be given free feminine hygiene products to help them attend their biological needs, and it would be unfair to do otherwise (Shahidul & Karim, p.90). Thus, voting this bill will open a new chapter for all the girls in the State of California; an episode of equal opportunity and equality.
The Bill Promotes Girl Child's Access to Education
The right to education belongs to every child in this country. However, there are many stumbling blocks that prevent the girl child from enjoying this right. One such blocks is the fact that some girls cannot afford feminine hygiene products given their backgrounds and the fact that pads require changing several times a day. This forces girls who hail from humble backgrounds to remain at home during the menstrual period. This situation denies girls the right to access education, and it might lead to a high dropout rate by the female pupils. Furthermore, missing classes leads to poor performance by girls in exams and despite their drive and commitment to overcome the circumstances at their birth, girls from low-income families may find this dream too big to achieve (Jewitt, Sarah& Ryle, p.140). By providing tampons and pads to girls who cannot afford them, the state of California will ease the girls' pressure while managing their periods enabling them to focus on their studies. Besides, this act will signal to the young women that their needs matter hence boosting the learning experience of the future mothers of this great state. Improving the learning experience of the girl child and giving them more time to focus on their studies is an integral part of ensuring that she is enjoying the right to education to the fullest (Shahidul & Karim, p.87). Therefore, voting for this bill will increase the girls' access to education and what a good thing when mothers are well educated meaning they will raise healthy and educated children hence contributing to the prosperity of the community.
The Bill Contributes to Public Health
The infrequent changing of pads and tampons is unsafe and unhealthy. However, not using one is unthinkable and it exposes the young girl to countless health problems. Most public places provide tissue paper to everyone so that they can attend to their bodily needs. This contributes a great deal to public health, and it is for the same reasons that girls from low-income families should be given free tampons and pads in schools (Jewitt et al., p.145). Though some quarters might argue that these girls should be issued with reusable hygiene products like menstrual cups, it is worth stating that many school bathrooms lack privacy for proper washing and care. Good personal hygiene is essential since it keeps viruses and illness at bay and the ripple effects that the hygiene of the girl child will have in the community are enormous (Sumpter, Colin & Torondel, p.110). For instance, reduction in illnesses contributes to an increase in funds available for infrastructural projects hence contributing to societal welfare. Furthermore, personal hygiene boosts mental health thus ensuring that the girl child has the mental strength and concentration to perform well in her studies. Therefore, Bill No 10 will promote public health and every well-meaning assemblyman or woman should vote for it.
The Bill Promotes the Dignity of Women
For a long time, the society has made women feel ashamed about menstruation especially since it is a rarely talked about topic. Keeping quiet about this issue has been to the detriment of the girl child especially for girls from low-income families. These young souls suffer in agony because, though they need the pads and tampons, they have no way of expressing their predicament to the society especially when their households cannot afford these products and as a result, they feel ashamed and unwanted. Enacting a bill that provides for free feminine hygiene products will show that menstruation is a normal bodily function and that young girls have nothing to feel ashamed about. Furthermore, such a bill will illustrate the need for society to treat feminine products as a basic necessity which is essential in eliminating the stigma that surrounds the use of feminine products (Shahidul & Karim, p.98). Therefore, the voting bill no. 10 will boost the self-confidence of all the women in the state and particularly the girls who are experiencing periods for the first time hence feeling confused and ashamed about this normal biological process. For this reason, the bill will promote the dignity of women.
To sum up, the above discussion illustrates why an assemblyman or woman should vote for Assembly Bill No.10, 2017 which proposes to provide feminine hygiene products to girls from low-income families who are between grade 6 to 12. The bill promotes the equality of all people, promotes girl child's access to education, contributes to public health and promotes the dignity of women. Ultimately, this bill will impact the life of every mother and daughter in California in a very positive way.
Jewitt, Sarah, and Harriet Ryley. "It'sa girl thing: Menstruation, school attendance, spatial mobility and wider gender inequalities in Kenya." Geoforum 56 (2014): 137-147.
Langford, Malcolm, Jamie Bartram, and Virginia Roaf. "Revisiting dignity: The human right to sanitation." Theright to water and sanitation in theory and practice: Drawing from a deeper well (2014).
Shahidul, S. M., and Z. Karim. "Factors contributing to school dropout among the girls: A review of literature." European Journal of research and reflection in educational sciences 3.2 (2015).
State of California. Assembly. Feminine Hygiene Products: Public School Restrooms. 10 (2017). Retrieved from: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180AB10
Sumpter, Colin, and Belen Torondel. "A systematic review of the health and social effects of menstrual hygiene management." PloS one 8.4 (2013): e62004.
Winkler, Inga T., and Virginia Roaf. "Taking the Bloody Linen out of the Closet: Menstrual hygiene as a priority for achieving gender equality." Cardozo JL & Gender 21 (2014): 1.
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