Edward Mandla
Code red: City of Sydney might be getting free sanitary items

Published On: 21/07/2016
You know what’s a worldwide bummer? Periods! Not the grammar kind, the blood kind. They make you cry for no reason and hurt like an invisible force is slowly grating your insides off.

And when you look at the price of pads and tampons, that invisible force may as well be called ~The Man~ such is the injustice of their cost.

The male-identified among you might think this kind of un-chill talk is your cue to soft-shoe out of the room, but ponder this — maybe that kind of reaction (an ovary-reaction?) is part of the problem.

But not all are wincing at the mere mention of a heavy flow. Oh no. Inspired by New York City’s unanimous vote to introduce free sanitary products to schools and jails last month, a councillor in the City of Sydney is proposing an Australian-first — free period stuff!

Councillor Edward Mandla, who’s created the landmark proposal, has a plan to introduce free sanitary products in all Sydney council buildings, for staff. But it won't stop there.

Mandla told Mashable Australia: “In addition, 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.”

The councillor sees the biggest argument against the motion as an economic one, but it’s one he’s quick to dismiss.

“The City of Sydney is flush with cash. It throws around money like there’s no tomorrow,” he says.

“Providing staff with sanitary items will cost each employee about A$7 per year ... For a city that is prepared to spend A$10 million on public art, it’s not a crazy amount of money.”

Mandla is also hoping the motion could have a, ahem, flow-on effect. “Providing free sanitary items is a low cost, a high-impact solution and it would inspire organisations across the country to follow suit.”

Not only is this a very sensible way to help people out, it’s a statement. And one that contributes something, however small, to a wider conversational shift. A potential PMS-fuelled "screw you" to ~The Man~ who dares charge A$6.10 for a measly 14-pack of sanitary items no one wants, but half the population needs, because nature.

If the motion to introduce free pads and tampons gets the green light from the quite female-dominated City of Sydney council chamber this Monday, it’ll be nice. What would be even nicer is if complaints of “Ow, I’m sore because I’m a human being with physical responses to legitimate pain,” are no longer deemed un-chill by some, but simply accepted. Again, because nature.

Code red: City of Sydney might be getting free sanitary items

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