County Buildings Now Offer No-Cost Period Products

The Hamilton County Commission on Women & Girls has achieved a major milestone in one of its top legislative priorities – installing no-cost period product dispensers in public restrooms located in Hamilton County buildings. Hamilton County Commissioners supported the move to improve the healthcare infrastructure in public buildings in order to make meaningful strides towards addressing gender inequity and period poverty in the region.

"We know that period poverty is real. When there is access to free period products, students stay in class longer and workers are more productive," said Commissioner Denise Driehaus, Founder of the Commission on Women & Girls. "We need to go beyond the stigma and see period products for what they are – a basic necessity."

"We never question offering free toilet paper and soap in public restrooms," said Commission President Stephanie Summerow Dumas. "Why would we not offer the same essential access to basic hygiene products like tampons and pads?"

"Hamilton County is once again taking the lead on this important issue," said Commission Vice President Alicia Reece. "Providing free access to period products is a basic equity issue that removes the barriers of cost and access."

"The Commission on Women & Girls is excited to see this initiative come to fruition and proud of Hamilton County for leading by example. We encourage our partners across the region to consider taking this same step to support menstruators in their communities," said Mary Maune, Program Coordinator of the Hamilton County Commission on Women & Girls.

Over 70 no-cost period product dispensers are now available to the public and tenants of Hamilton County’s public buildings at the following locations:

  • Hamilton County Juvenile Court Youth Center at 2020 Auburn Avenue
  • Hamilton County Public Health Department at 250 William Howard Taft
  • Times-Star Building at 800 Broadway Building
  • Hamilton County Job and Family Services, Alms & Doepke Building
  • Hamilton County Courthouse
  • Hamilton County Justice Center
  • Todd B. Portune Center for County Government
  • William Howard Taft Center
  • Hamilton County Communications Center (911 Dispatch) 
  • Sheriff Patrol Headquarters
  • Hamilton County Coroner’s Office and Crime Lab 

The Hamilton County Commission on Women & Girls continues to tackle period poverty by advocating that schools, businesses and places where people gather supply free period products. The Commission also worked on the successful repeal of the so-called "Pink Tax" in Ohio that took effect on April 1, 2020.

Addressing Period Poverty

According to the Alliance for Period Supplies, 2 in 5 women struggle to purchase period products due to lack of income, while one third of low-income women report missing work, school, or similar commitments due to lack of access to period supplies. Free the Tampons, a Columbus, Ohio-based non-profit fighting period inequality, published data stating that 86% of women have started their periods while in public and without access to the necessary menstrual hygiene supplies. Furthermore, 79% reported creating makeshift substitutes for menstrual supplies out of toilet paper or similar items that are widely available in restrooms. Providing no-cost period products in public restrooms can considerably mitigate these circumstances, moving our region towards period equity.

About the Commission on Women & Girls

The Hamilton County Commission on Women & Girls was formed to give women and girls a seat at the table, turning rhetoric into action. The Commission is comprised of 20 community leaders and 10 high school student members appointed by the Board of County Commissioners. The Commission promotes the rights of women and girls and the ability to be fundamentally free in political, economic, social, cultural, and civil realms. The Commission on Women & Girls makes recommendations to the Board, facilitates community partnership and engagement, promotes women leadership, and develops educational campaigns in alignment with the Commission’s commitment to give women and girls a seat at the table.

Posted on 09/15/2022