Menstruation is a normal, biological function experienced by half the population.
Yet, for too many students here in Ontario, a lack of access to menstrual products can lead to embarrassment, shame and missed days at school.
Surveys have shown that 34% of menstruators have had difficulty affording menstrual products, and social attitudes and gender discrimination too often force young people to hide their menstrual products or lie about having their period.
For these reasons, the government of British Columbia has moved to ensure all students can access free menstrual products in schools by the end of 2019 and in September, Nova Scotia followed suit. Closer to home, the Thames Valley, Waterloo Region and Toronto District School Boards have announced they will do the same - recognizing the real problem of “period poverty.”
That's why I tabled a motion in the legislature to tackle these issues, one that calls on the Government of Ontario to provide free menstrual products in school washrooms. On November 29, I reiterated my call at a press conference with some of the amazing activists who are working toward menstrual equity, and issued a challenge to Education Minister Stephen Lecce. It's time for Ontario to step up to tackle period poverty.
Read my letter to Minister Lecce.
Join us to help put an end to the stigma and shame surrounding menstruation, and to support student health and wellbeing here in Ontario.