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Stomp Out Period Poverty

TAMPONS AND TOILET PAPER FOR EVERY WASHROOM
TOGETHER WE CAN STOMP OUT PERIOD POVERTY

For those living below the poverty line, it can be a challenge to access menstrual products.

The good news is that there’s a growing movement to make menstrual products accessible and reduce the stigma surrounding periods. Imagine, free menstrual products for people who need them wherever they need them, including schools, hospitals, libraries, at your local community centre, and at your workplace.

We need all levels of government – federal, provincial and local - to commit to this important public health initiative. That’s why HSA has launched the Stomp Out Period Poverty campaign – an opportunity for members across BC to organize local worksite actions in support of menstrual equity.

Progress is underway.

Last year, HSA members campaigned to stomp out menstrual stigma, highlighting connections between access to menstrual products and the stigmatization of periods. At the same time, members held collections drives for menstrual products in partnership with the United Way for local community organizations. The response was incredible. Across the province, HSA collected over 103,269 menstrual products.

This April, through the continuing leadership of the HSA Women’s Committee, member delegates to HSA’s annual convention mandated our union to lobby government to increase access to menstrual products –with newly dedicated funding – as part of its poverty reduction strategy.

And on April 5, the BC Minister of Education Rob Fleming announced that by the end of 2019, all public schools must equip washrooms with menstrual products so that no student will have to miss school because of the financial costs from periods. This requirement is accompanied with $300,000 in startup funding for schools. HSA applauds this initiative, which will increase students’ access to menstrual products and improve equity in BC’s public schools.

However, there’s still more that needs to be done. Menstrual products are basic hygiene items that should be available in every washroom, just like toilet paper.

Already, 12 chapters have championed the Stomp Out Period Poverty campaign at their worksites. HSA is calling on chapters across the province to join the movement for menstrual equity and take up the campaign.

An HSA organizer will support you in planning a campaign at your worksite. Local actions could involve running a donation drive, hosting a chapter meeting, or facilitating discussions about how to stomp out period poverty.

There are no time restrictions on the campaign. An HSA organizer will help you develop timelines that make sense for you and your colleagues. Whether you would like to take on a small or large initiative, all levels of involvement are welcome and can have an impact.

Are you interested in learning more about the Stomp Out Period Poverty campaign? View a recording of our webinar, "Tools and Tips to Stomp Out Period Poverty."  

In this webinar, we review the campaign tools available to HSA members and take inspiration from the experiences of other HSA chapters. We discuss some of the victories that have been won around the world for menstrual equity. 

For more information about the Stomp Out Period Poverty campaign, to get involved, or to connect with an HSA organizer to begin planning the campaign at your worksite. email periodpoverty@hsabc.org. You can also call the HSA head office and ask to speak to an organizer at 1-800 663 2017.

Together, we can stomp out period poverty!

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