On Friday morning, it was announced that all BC public schools will now offer free menstrual products to students.
These free menstrual products will be provided to students in school washrooms by the end of 2019.
The order was issued by Education Minister Rob Fleming, who said it’s time to normalize and equalize access to menstrual products in schools”.
“Students should never have to miss school, extracurricular, sports or social activities because they can’t afford or don’t have access to menstrual products,” said Fleming, adding that current research indicates that one in seven students has missed school due to their periods because they cannot afford products.
Free Menstrual Products In BC Schools
School districts have until the end of the year to follow this ministerial order that takes effect immediately. Likewise, this order comes with $300,000 in provincial startup funding.
The province also announced that they are providing a one-time grant of $95,000 to support the United Way Period Promise Research Project. This money will be used to fund menstrual products for up to 10 non-profit agencies and research into how best to provide services and products for people who menstruate”.
“The cost and availability of menstrual products is a real concern for those who are poor and often face the choice of purchasing those products or buying other essentials, like food,” said Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction.
Back in February, the Board of Education for New Westminster Schools voted to supply free pads and tampons in school bathrooms.
Trustees also voted to endorse the Period Promise campaign by United Way of the Lower Mainland.