B.C. is leading the charge when it comes to stigma-free periods. Public schools across the province now offer free menstural products for students. The B.C. free menstrual products led to some great reactions online and in schools.
For the start of the new school year, students were given access to free menstrual products in B.C. schools. Though some schools had already been giving out the products for free to students, the government officially made it mandatory for all schools to provide access to the produts and the program launched this week as the new school year began.
However, it was first announced in April when Rob Fleming, minister of education, issued a ministerial order that required all schools in B.C. to give students access to menstrual products that is free of stigma.
"Addressing period poverty closes the gap on gender inequality," said Mitzi Dean, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity, in a press release.
Students agreed. "Ensuring menstrual products are free acknowledges our right to access and dignity in managing a process that is natural for half our population. Thank you for having the courage to help change the way we think about ourselves and each other," said Rebecca Ballard, a grade 12 student at New Westminster Secondary, in a press release.
To mark the official start of this initiative, one B.C. school got creative with its celebration by having students playing live music.
THIS is how you celebrate free menstrual products in BC’s schools. 🎶🎷@reynolds_high #bcgov https://t.co/4ImkC1L6ft https://t.co/9H4plxIyBZ— Angela Liu (@Angela Liu)1567739358.0
This initiative was welcomed and praised by people involved and even by those not involved in getting these free products into schools.
Thanks @Rob_Fleming @DarcyJudy @MitziDeanBC for working with @newwestschools and community partners to ensure avail… https://t.co/CJf4LAZlTN— Mark Gifford (@Mark Gifford)1567810579.0
Having a blast talking about free menstrual products in New West this afternoon w/ Ministers @DarcyJudy and… https://t.co/45AkFw6oot— Mitzi Dean (@Mitzi Dean)1567806516.0
@BCGovNews This is excellent news!— Meghan Vallis (@Meghan Vallis)1567743843.0
While B.C. is leading the charge when it comes to providing free menstrual products across the board in schools, people are trying to do similar things across the country.
Just last week the Toronto District School Board finally passed a motion to allow free menstrual products in all its schools.
Exactly how schools make the menstrual products available is not mandated across the province. Individual school districts determine how those products will be made available for students. Some are using open baskets while some are using dispensers that don't take money.
The only stipulation was that the products must be freely available in washrooms before 2019 ends.