Hawaii News

Hawaiʻi House Rep. Lamosao nationally recognized for fighting period poverty

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Hawaiʻi State House Rep. Rachele F. Lamosao was one of 12 winners of the National Foundation of Women Legislatorsʻ contest for her tenacious efforts to combat period poverty in Hawaiʻi.

Through this national award, she will collaborate with Maʻi Movement Hawaiʻi to distribute $1,000 worth of period products to support girls and women, trans, gender non-conforming and people who menstruate in public spaces.

Menstrual equity advocates commonly refer to a 2021 report conducted by Hawaiʻi State
Commission on the Status of Women and Maʻi Movement Hawaiʻi that revealed the
exceptionally high cost of living and the significant wage gap for women exacerbate period
poverty in the state of Hawaiʻi.

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Lamosao said: “We are truly grateful that period products are finally free in all of Hawaiʻi’s K-12 public and charter schools, due to a law that was passed last year. My ongoing goal is to expand access in other public-serving areas, including state libraries and courthouses as they serve some of our most vulnerable populations.”

(Stock photo/Pixabay)

According to Lamosao, “90% of respondents believed menstrual products were expensive and nearly 30% of respondents reported that they or someone in their household experienced difficulty obtaining menstrual products.”

“This is why it is important for us to normalize the discussion of making these products accessible for people in public places.”

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In the 2023 legislative session, the first-time legislator introduced new legislation (HB 931), asking the Department of Accounting and General Services to provide menstrual products at no cost in specific restrooms of all public buildings maintained by the department.

Although the measure did not pass, Lamosao plans to revisit the bill next session.

Click here to learn more about the Ending Period Poverty Initiative by the National Foundation of Women Legislators.

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