Boston/ Politics & Govt
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Published on March 04, 2024
Boston City Hall Installs Free Menstrual Product Vending Machines in Push for EquitySource: Facebook/Boston City Councilor Gabriela Coletta

Boston City Hall rolled out the red carpet for a different kind of VIP - very important products - this past Friday. In a move to combat period poverty and promote menstrual equity, the Mayor's Office of Women's Advancement and Property Management proudly unveiled two SOS smart vending machines, providing free pads and tampons, located right within its municipal building. The ribbon-cutting ceremony heralded the latest step in the city's commitment to making necessary menstrual products readily available and accessible to all.

Mayor Michelle Wu, noting the significance of these machines, said, "Ensuring that residents have equitable access to menstrual products is critical for their health and well-being." Under her leadership, the city is working to remove barriers and stigmas by making Boston a place for everyone, which now includes free period products at City Hall. These new SOS vending machines are stationed on the 2nd and 8th floors, while other wellness products are up for grabs at a cost, as reported by boston.gov.

City Councilor Gabriela Coletta expressed her enthusiasm about the initiative, telling boston.gov, "This is the city demonstrating commitment to menstrual equity by placing these products in City Hall." She pledges to ensure that menstrual products are made available in all public buildings to break down existing barriers. This sentiment is echoed in the actions seen in the fall when the Boston Public Libraries began offering free menstrual products at six of their branches.

With an understanding of the financial pressures families face, Mariangely Solis Cervera, Chief of Equity and Inclusion, said, "Menstrual products can cost families at least $216 per person, per year." She emphasized the city's recognition of this struggle, especially with the rising cost of living, affirming that essentials, like pads and tampons, shouldn't add to these financial burdens. This initiative is considered a leap towards eradicating period poverty and promoting equality.

On the corporate front, the Co-CEO and Co-Founder of SOS™, Susanna Twarog, emphasized the significance of the partnership, remarking on the company's origins in Boston and its mission to support Mayor Wu's period care accessibility efforts. And Sasha Goodfriend, Executive Director of Mass NOW, didn't mince words in her appraisal: "Menstrual products are an essential item just like toilet paper and should be available where menstruators need them, in the bathroom," advocating for menstrual dignity to be recognized as a human right.