Boston: Ribbon-cutting Ceremony Celebrates Menstrual Product Availability in City Hall

BOSTON ~ Boston Mayor Michelle Wu and the Mayor's Office of Women's Advancement (MOWA) joined forces with Property Management to unveil two new SOS smart vending machines at City Hall on Friday, March 1, 2024. These machines offer free menstrual products as well as other wellness products for purchase.

The ribbon cutting event, held last Friday, was a celebration of the city's commitment to menstrual equity and ensuring that all residents have access to essential products for their health and well-being. Mayor Wu expressed her excitement about increasing menstrual equity in Boston through the installation of these vending machines at City Hall.

The SOS vending machines are located on the 2nd floor near the City of Boston Credit Union and on the 8th floor near the south elevators. They dispense free pads and tampons, as well as other wellness products such as deodorant and sunscreen.

Boston City Councilor Gabriela Coletta, District 1, also spoke at the event, praising the city for its dedication to menstrual equity by placing these products in City Hall. She emphasized the importance of partnerships in ensuring that menstrual products are accessible in all public buildings without stigma.

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This initiative builds upon MOWA's previous partnership with Boston Public Libraries to pilot a program offering free menstrual products and education at six library branches last fall.

Alexandra Valdez, Executive Director of the Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs, highlighted MOWA's commitment to supporting women's health and overall well-being through initiatives such as menstrual education and product access. She also emphasized the importance of addressing reproductive rights and maternal health in underrepresented communities.

Eamon Shelton, Commissioner of Property Management, spoke about how this initiative is not only a public health concern but also a basic equity issue. He stressed that initiatives like this one are crucial in addressing period poverty and creating a fully equitable society.

Mariangely Solis Cervera, Chief of Equity and Inclusion, pointed out that menstrual products can cost families at least $216 per person per year. She acknowledged the financial burden this places on many families and stated that essential products like pads and tampons should not be a financial burden.

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Co-CEO and Co-Founder of SOS, Susanna Twarog, expressed her excitement about introducing SOS vending machines to City Hall and supporting Mayor Wu's mission to enhance period care accessibility. She also highlighted the company's patented design and technology, which aims to revolutionize the built world on a global scale.

SOS is leading the way in fulfilling universal human needs and prioritizing human well-being through their state-of-the-art design and cutting-edge technology. They have collaborated with esteemed brands, iconic landmarks, entertainment hubs, and retail destinations to shape a future where everyone is served.

Sasha Goodfriend, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Organization for Women (Mass NOW), praised the City of Boston's menstrual equity initiative as an innovative strategy to address period poverty. She emphasized that menstrual dignity should be considered a human right and applauded Boston for taking steps towards achieving it.

In conclusion, the launch of these SOS vending machines at City Hall marks a significant milestone in Boston's commitment to menstrual equity. With these machines providing free menstrual products and other wellness items for purchase, the city is setting an example for others to follow in creating a more equitable society.

Filed Under: Government, City

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