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Cuomo's 'Women's Agenda' includes requiring schools provide free feminine hygiene products

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Monday unveiled proposals he said are aimed at empowering women across the state.

The proposals include increasing access to computer science and technology, education about healthy dating relationships, a campaign to encourage young women to pursue leadership positions and free access to feminine hygiene products for girls in grades 6 through 12 in the state's public schools.

As part of his "2018 Women's Agenda for New York," Cuomo's office said he will propose allocating $6 million a year to provide grants to schools to pay for teacher development in computer science.

The governor also wants the State Education Department and the Department of Health to develop a learning module for students from kindergarten through 12th grade that teaches young people about healthy relationships, sexual health and dating violence.

Cuomo's office said the governor is proposing the "If You Can See It, You Can Be It" campaign, which will encourage girls to enter "nontraditional" occupations and to pursue leadership posts.

Another proposal calls for public schools to provide free feminine hygiene products in school bathrooms for girls in grades 6 through 12.

"In New York, 42 percent of children live in low income families. At $7 to $10 per package, a month's supply of something as simple as a box of pads or tampons can be one expense too many for struggling families," the governor's office said. "This important step will make New York State a leader in addressing this issue of inequality and stigma, ensuring that no girl's learning is hindered by lack of access to the products her biology demands."

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