Tampons Could Soon Be Free For All Women in Sydney - Atlas Obscura
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Tampons Could Soon Be Free For All Women in Sydney

It’s a first for an Australian city.

(Photo: Simon Law/CC BY-SA 2.0)

Sydney’s city council is set to vote on a measure that would offer free tampons to women in a variety of places throughout the city, including at libraries, sports venues, homeless shelters, and in the city’s public housing. 

The measure is being pushed by Councillor Edward Mandia, who is cautiously optimistic that it will pass. The majority of Sydney’s city council are women, as well as their mayor and deputy mayor. The measure is set to be voted on on Monday.

“City of Sydney is flush with cash,” Mandia told the Huffington Postaccording to Yahoo7 News. “There’s money for everyone and lots of talk about equality. But there’s little in practical leadership solutions.”

Mandia said the proposed policy is about something simple: equality, since women make less money than men and are more likely to be homeless. Yet, tampons cost about $5 to $6 Australian dollars at a drug store. 

And while Sydney might be the first Australian city to hand out free tampons, they are far from the first in the world. Earlier this month, New York City enacted legislation putting free tampons in schools, jails, and homeless shelters.

Nationally, American Congressional representatives are trying to do something similar. Legislation was introduced just this week that would require employers in the U.S. to provide tampons to their employees.