To claim that menstruation is a pleasant experience is akin to declaring that the world is flat. For many women, their first period is a rite of passage to womanhood, but the chaotic mix of emotions that accompany a period — relief, frustration, sadness — can frankly be tiresome to deal with.
So while periods are already a considerable concern, imagine the added financial burden of having to properly equip oneself to manage them. The Huffington Post estimated that over a woman's lifetime, her period will cost her $18,171, give or take a few chocolate bars and packages of Midol.
Considering that an overwhelming majority of women — and some men — get periods, it seems strange that they are quite the expenditure (thanks in part to the dreaded "tampon tax" that considers tampons and sanitary pads "non-essential items").
But there is a steady, if slow, movement for institutions to cater to women's menstruation needs. A landmark New York City program, for example, will set up dispensers offering free sanitary products in public school bathrooms.
And one Australian city could well follow suit, easing a substantial load for a large part of the population. Put forward by Sydney Councillor Edward Mandla, the proposal would require all council buildings to provide free sanitary items to staff — and Mandla hopes to extend that even further.
"In addition," he told Mashable Australia, "we should be able to provide free and easily accessible sanitary items in our libraries, in our homeless facilities, as well as in public pools and sporting facilities we own and run."
Mandla, a father of eight who lives with three women, says that sanitary items are a staple in his life. "My household has pads everywhere. From shoulder pads to breast pads to sanitary pads. They're on the shopping list, on the credit card bills and it's just part of life," he said. "All our bathrooms are packed with sanitary products, so it should not be different in the workplace."
And he argues that Sydney has enough money for the plan. "The City of Sydney is flush with cash. It throws around money like there's no tomorrow," he told Mashable. "Providing staff with sanitary items will cost each employee about $7 per year... For a city that is prepared to spend $10 million on public art, it's not a crazy amount of money."
A Plus reached out to Mandla for comment.
Cover image via Shutterstock.