HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.C.R. NO.

178

THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

HOUSE CONCURRENT

RESOLUTION

 

 

Requesting the Department of Education to Provide Free Menstrual Products to students on All Hawaii Public School Campuses.

 

 


     WHEREAS, the Hawaii Board of Education policy number 1110‑10 states that "gender equity extends the doctrine of fairness to all areas of activity in the public school system"; and

 

     WHEREAS, in 2014, the United Nations declared menstrual hygiene a public-health, gender-equality, and human rights issue; and

 

     WHEREAS, half the population will experience menstruation while at school; and

 

     WHEREAS, Hawaii public schools are insufficiently funded; and

 

     WHEREAS, the funding that is allocated by the Legislature and expended by the Department of Education should be equitably allocated among students who menstruate and those who do not; and

 

     WHEREAS, the Department of Education's budget allocation for extracurricular activities, including athletics, disproportionately benefits students who do not menstruate; and

 

     WHEREAS, the Department of Education maintains a healthy school environment by providing free products to students such as toilet paper and hand soap in restrooms, yet the Department of Education does not provide students with free menstrual products; and

 

     WHEREAS, students who are menstruating are burdened with the additional cost of menstrual products to maintain a healthy school environment for everyone, including students who do not menstruate; and

 

     WHEREAS, some students who are menstruating do not come to school or leave school early because they cannot afford the menstrual products that maintain a healthy school environment; and

 

     WHEREAS, a 2019 nationwide study conducted by the University of Richmond found that students who were unable to afford menstrual products were 5.89 times more likely to miss school, 5.82 times more likely to be late to school, and 4.14 times more likely to leave school early compared to those who could afford menstrual products; and

 

     WHEREAS, the Department of Education has identified that forty seven percent of public school students in the 2019-2020 school year were considered "economically disadvantaged"; and

 

     WHEREAS, the 2020 ALICE Report by Aloha United Way states that almost sixty percent of Hawaii's local families are struggling to meet basic needs due to the economic impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic; and

 

     WHEREAS, according to the nationwide survey conducted by Always of Proctor and Gamble, since the pandemic, one out of three parents are worried about their ongoing ability to afford menstrual products; and

 

     WHEREAS, a 2016 New York City pilot program found that access to free menstrual products in public schools increased attendance by 2.4 percent, leading to a package of legislation providing free access to menstrual products for New York City's students; now, therefore,

 

     BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Thirty-first Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2021, the Senate concurring, that the Department of Education is requested to provide free menstrual products to students on all public school campuses; and

 

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Board of Education is requested to include criteria in the evaluation tool of the Superintendent based on minimizing factors of achieving true gender equity; and

 

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Hawaii youth risk behavior survey for high school and middle school students should include questions regarding menstrual equity and access to menstrual products, including:

 

     (1)  Do you always have access to period products at school for the entire duration of your period?;

 

     (2)  Have you ever not been able to purchase period products at school?; and

 

     (3)  Have you ever skipped school, left school early, or come to school late because you didn't have access to period products?; and

 

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Chairperson of the Board of Education and Superintendent of Education.

 

 

 

 

OFFERED BY:

_____________________________

 

 

Report Title: 

Menstrual Equity; Menstrual Products; Schools; Education