Free tampons will be handed out to schools, homeless shelters and jails in New York


Females will be given free tampons and sanitary pads in schools, homeless shelters and jails in New York.

The New York City Council unanimously approved the decision proposed by member Julissa Ferreras, who pledged to "end the stigma around menstruation, across the nation".

The new bill is awaiting the signature of Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has already made clear he supports the move.

Mayor Bill de Blasio

The decision marks a new direction in activists' push to dismantle what they see as unfair financial barriers between women and needed sanitary products.

It would make pads and tampons free in bathrooms that serve 300,000 schoolgirls, guarantee the products' availability to 23,000 women in homeless shelters and add the force of law to jail standards about sanitary supplies.

Advocates say the measure also would make the free sanitary supplies more readily available by putting them in restrooms, instead of nurses' offices, in schools with female students in sixth grade and up.

Homeless shelters and jails already provide free menstrual supplies on request, according to the city administration, although women's advocates suggest the supplies are inadequate.