Menstrual products are a necessity, not a luxury. Access to menstrual products and dignity around menstruation – reducing the shame – is a health equity issue.
According to a local survey carried out by It’s Personal Period in Grey Bruce (2021), the survey found:
- 1 in 2 people surveyed experienced period poverty,
- 52% of those surveyed struggled to access products,
- 73% (3 in 4 people) missed work or school due to menstruation, and
- 40% were not informed of proper menstrual health.
The United Way Bruce Grey is pleased to recognize its partnership with It’s Personal Period, a grassroots committee based in Grey County and Bruce County. It’s Personal Period’s mission is to advance menstrual equity in Bruce Grey by addressing the impact period poverty has on the dignity and health of those who menstruate.
They aim to reduce the stigma and increase awareness about menstrual health by providing education and sustainable menstrual product options to those in need.
They have engaged with the Poverty Task Force’s Food Security Action Group to speak to the need for free menstrual products at community food program locations. You can find menstrual products in libraries and food banks across Bruce Grey.
For more resources, visit www.itspersonalperiod.com/resources.
Ontario Government Budget
In the 2021/2022 Ontario budget, the government made a 3 year commitment to provide 6 million menstrual products per year to school boards. Period Purse estimated that the number of promised pads does not meet the demand. It breaks down to only 10 pads/student/year. (Source: Period Purse, Oct 2021).
Here in Grey Bruce, the allocated amount from the Ontario government does not cover enough to provide free products and dispensing machines for all students in schools. The Poverty Task Force and It’s Personal Period supported the Bruce Grey Catholic School’s Board roll out of its student survey and free period product program The School Board added to the budget from the government to meet the demand of its student population.
The Poverty Task Force is advocating for the Ontario government to mandate free menstrual products in all public school washrooms such as exists in British Columbia, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.
Menstrual Hygiene Day is May 28th, 2023. Consider ways your organization can raise awareness about the challenges regarding access to menstrual products and education about menstruation.
Source: Plan International Canada survey