Grace Meng
Credit: Bill Clark/Getty Images

Like many of us, Congresswoman Grace Meng is sick and tired of the stigma that surrounds women and their periods. In order to raise awareness, she wrote a brilliant op-ed for Marie Clare called “Our Laws Period-Shame Women — So I’m Going to Change Them.”

The pieces addresses the fact that simply having a period can be a financial burden for many low- income families, and especially difficult for women who are homeless or incarcerated — who end up sharing pads (or sometimes rags) and using them for multiple days because there’s not enough to go around. She also noted that some young women are forced to miss school because they cannot afford basic menstrual products. To make the problem worse, we’re conditioned not to talk about these issues, which further prevents change.

And she’s not just talking about the issues, she’s springing into action with the launch of the Menstrual Equality for All Act of 2017, which addresses the state issue of tampon tax as well as the shortage of feminine products in our prisons and homeless shelters. “My bill would require each state to give female inmates and detainees as many tampons or pads as they need, whenever they need them — at no cost.” And to that, we say yes.

It’s indeed super easy to take it for granted when we have plenty of tampons when we need them, and that’s why we’re so glad that Meng is creating awareness about this issue.

She invites other people who feel strongly about menstrual equality to stand up and join her in battling these issues, because the more women who band together and campaign for change, the sooner change will happen.