Tampons and pads can be very expensive. Many women know the struggle of attempting to purchase these menstrual products when on a tight budget. Now, the City of Toronto is trying to better this issue by working towards giving out free menstrual products to those in need.
This menstrual product problem was brought to light by Toronto city councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam over two months ago when she discovered that a study by Plan International found that one-third of Canadian women under the age of 25 struggled to afford hygiene products, especially those in the menstrual department.
So why is it that these products are still costing the female population so much? In order to change this, Wong-Tam proposed a piloted menstrual product dispenser for women in need.
Now, this project is continuing to expand. On Monday, the city council's executive committee voted to up the budget that is meant to support shelters and housing administrations by $222,000. This new budget will be used to buy menstrual products and to create more dispensers around the city.
These free products will mainly be for city-run homeless shelters and drop-in centres, but will also be featured in some neighbourhood community centres.
A piloted menstrual hygiene product dispenser already exists at Shoppers Drug Mart on Queen Street East and has so far helped many women in the area that are in need of menstrual products.
These dispensers are said to be around the size of a newspaper box and will have PIN code that is needed in order to access the products inside the box. This PIN code will be printed out and handed to women around homeless shelters and centres who are in need of these free products.
Kristyn Wong-Tam and the City of Toronto believe that it is important to ensure that Canadian women are able to get access to necessary hygiene products no matter what their status is.
We must analyze and address the hidden financial inequities that are causing women and their families to be left behind.— Kristyn Wong-Tam (@kristynwongtam) March 4, 2019
In a statement on Twitter, Wong-Tam stated, "We must analyze and address the hidden financial inequities that are causing women and their families to be left behind,".
The funding will not become official until the city council approves this new budget in a meeting that is set to be held on Thursday.
Source: 680 News