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Strong Women: Elif Ozturk Testifies on a Bill to Provide Free Feminine Products in MN Schools

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Cristy Wesson and Margie Solomon of the National Council of Jewish Women Minnesota and student Elif Ozturk deliver menstrual products to Hopkins High School, where Elif is a student, on Sept. 30, 2021. Elif and community advocates are pushing for a bill that would require public schools to provide free period products in restrooms.
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provided to the Star Tribune

"It's time we change the stigma around period products. It's not a luxury, it's a necessity."

This week the MN Legislature heard HF 2750/SF 3052: a proposal to require MN schools to provide free menstrual products from 4th -12th grade. See the Senate committee hearing from Monday where Elif Ozturk testifed.

Ozturk is a 15 year old Hopkins High School student who has a passion for issues ranging from gender, racial and educational equity. As she said to Laura Yuen from the Star Tribune, "It's time we change the stigma around period products."

These issues of menstrual equity are not just about stigma. In a national study commissioned by Thinx and the advocacy group PERIOD they found that 23% of students have struggled to afford menstrual products. Students of color, those who come from lower income families, and rural students were disproportionately affected. And, for many young women who can't get the necessary products, they are staying home and skipping school each month.

Elif Ozturk is our featured Strong Woman on KAXE/KBXE leading the way for all of us.

You can be like Elif and contact your elected officials if you have an issue you are passionate about. We heard from one listener this morning who was inspired to email us:

Elif Ozturk and you are such inspirations! Sincere thanks for discussing this subject on today's Morning Show. I so appreciate that you speak up about the needs, challenges and solutions for women. It helps all of us.

Following your interview with Elif Ozturk I sent this email to my Senator, Paul Gazelka, and a similar one to my Representative, Ron Kresha.

Keep up the GREAT work!

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Heidi Holtan has worked at KAXE/KBXE for over 20 years. She currently helms the Morning Show as News and Public Affairs Director. Heidi is a regional correspondent for WDSE/WRPT's Duluth Public Television’s Almanac North. In 2018 Heidi received the “Building Bridges in Media” award from the Islamic Resource Group for her work on KAXE/KBXE hosting conversations about anti-Muslim movements in rural Minnesota.
Kari (CAR-ee) is originally from South Dakota … a state often referred to as the land of infinite variety. As Music Director at Northern Community Radio, Kari has taken that theme to heart with her ability to feed a community of listeners hungry for an infinite variety of music and ideas. Along with her trademark lipstick and husky voice … Kari also raises a family … and Baguettes when time permits
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