A new initiative at Conestoga will offer free menstrual hygiene products in washrooms across the college to support menstrual equity.
The initiative launched last month in recognition of Menstrual Hygiene Day, a global advocacy platform that aims to raise awareness and change negative social norms surrounding menstruation to ensure all individuals who menstruate have adequate access to products and education for good menstrual hygiene management.
“Conestoga is committed to promoting and fostering a community that is accessible and equitable,” said Kathryn Brubacher, executive director of Facilities Management. “This initiative helps ensure our community is not missing out on classes or other activities due to an inability to access products safely or affordably.”
According to a recent study, one in four Canadian menstruators surveyed were forced to decide between purchasing menstrual products and purchasing other essentials such as food or rent within the last year. That number jumps to one in three between the ages of 18 and 34. Sixty-three per cent of Canadian menstruators surveyed regularly or occasionally miss an activity due to their period and concerns about being unable to access menstrual hygiene products or proper facilities.
Dispensers have been installed in most washrooms across all Conestoga-owned buildings and offer free sanitary napkins/pads and tampons that are 100 per cent organic cotton, chemical-free and sustainable. In male-designated washrooms where available, dispensers and disposal bins are located in the accessible stall.
“Period products are not a luxury. They are a necessity,” Brubacher continued. “Just like toilet paper and soap, access to menstrual products supports health and well-being on campus.”
For more information, visit the Menstrual Hygiene Free Product initiative frequently asked questions.