Thursday, September 5, 2019
Jennifer Weiss-Wolf (Brennan Center for Justice, NYU), U.S. Policymaking to Address Menstruation: Advancing an Equity Agenda, 25 Wm. & Mary J. Race, Gender & Soc. Just. 493 (2019):
On any given day there are eight hundred million people on the planet who are menstruating, of whom at least five hundred million lack adequate resources—basic supplies, facilities, information, support—for managing their periods. ... a new social and policy movement has coalesced in the United States, centered on the concept of “menstrual equity”—a phrase first introduced in 2015 and further developed in the 2017 book Periods Gone Public: Taking a Stand for Menstrual Equity, which makes the case for an agenda that advances systemic solutions to address the societal and financial inequities caused by menstruation.10 The menstrual equity frame is distinct in its direct association of periods with the values of democratic participation, citizen engagement, gender parity, and economic opportunity.
This Article will explore the political and legal tenets of menstrual equity. It will explain why this frame has proven particularly potent and detail recent, successful policy advocacy in which momentum has been both unusually bipartisan and swift.
It will also shed light on the power of leveraging multiple tools for achieving societal change— law and litigation, coupled with extensive use of traditional and social media. It will preview emerging policy proposals for this burgeoning movement. In sum, it will show why making the case for menstrual