Menstrual Hygiene Day - May 28th
A world without period poverty and stigma is possible. The need hasn’t stopped during the pandemic, and neither can we. To achieve our joint goal by 2030, it’s time to step up action and investment in menstrual health and hygiene in Alberta and around the world, starting with Menstrual Hygiene Day on May 28th.
Did you know that a third of Canadians under 25 who menstruate have struggled to afford menstrual hygiene products? (Plan International, 2018). The pandemic has exacerbated menstrual hygiene challenges, such as period poverty, for the 800 million people around the world who menstruate (World Bank, 2020). Ensuring menstrual health and hygiene needs are met is critical to dignity, gender equality, and reproductive health, and ultimately, for achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
Menstrual inequity and period poverty occur when people who menstruate — including women and girls, trans, and non-binary individuals — face barriers to managing their period. Barriers can be a lack of assets (for example, knowledge, menstrual pads, water, soap), a lack of services (such as education), or a lack of spaces (like toilets and handwashing facilities in schools and other public spaces).
Right here at home, from wherever we live, Albertans must step up. Together, we must make strides, both in Alberta and around the world, to ensure all people who menstruate have access to affordable and context-appropriate menstrual health and hygiene products, safe water and sanitation facilities, adequate information and education, and the ability and agency to manage their menstruation. This will mean that everyone who menstruates can manage their menstruation safely, hygienically, with confidence, and without shame or stigma.
Show your support for menstrual equity! Join ACGC on May 28th for Menstrual Hygiene Day to raise awareness and take action on this critical issue. Organize an event, donate menstrual hygiene products to a local agency, raise awareness on social media, or write to your local government official. Share why you believe it's time to end step-up action and investment in menstrual health and hygiene now!
Not sure where to start?
Learn by reading the stories of Alberta organizations working to address menstrual equity in Alberta and around the globe:
- CAUSE Canada: Spelling a Brighter Future in Sierra Leone Through Menstrual Hygiene Products
- Days for Girls Canada: Sewing a Better Future in Education and Livelihoods through Menstrual Health
- Student Advocated for Public Health: Public Health Student Leaders Step Up for Edmonton School Children
- Ruth Pads:Ruth(less) Champions of Sustainable Solutions for Menstrual Health
- All Cycles Edmonton: Delivering Menstrual Products for an Edmonton Without Period Poverty
- Soroptomist International of Central Alberta: The Period Promise: Free Menstrual Products in Alberta Schools and Beyond
- Mennonite Central Committee: Promoting Gender Equality through making Reusable Menstrual Pads (RUMPS)
Share your photo on May 28th wearing a menstrual hygiene bracelet and tag #MHDay2021, #ItsTimeForAction and #TogetherAlberta to amplify your message.
Learn how to make your bracelet
Act by addressing menstrual equity in your community— including at home, school, and your workplace.
Follow @ACGCNow on social media as menstrual equity champions
across Alberta showcase their bracelet and calls to action on May 28th.
Special Thanks to Lola Dee Jewelry in Edmonton
for making custom menstruation bracelets for this campaign.
See her work at loladeejewelry.etsy.com
and on Instagram @loladeejewelry
There are an ever-expanding group of organizations and individuals who are making a difference towards menstrual equality across Alberta and around the world. Below are a few you can check out and support:
Airdrie Operation Period is a mother/daughter initiative providing period products to those in need, while sparking a conversation to end the stigma surrounding menstruation and finding a way to end period poverty
All Cycles Edmonton
All Cycle's goal is to provide menstrual products to the homeless and income insecure, as these products are rarely donated to shelters. They also strive to destigmatize menstruation and dissociate it from an inherently feminine experience.
As part of their Covid-19 prevention and response projects, CAUSE Canada provided menstrual hygiene kits in Sierra Leone, Guatemala, and Honduras.
Days for Girls
Days for Girls advances menstrual equity, health, dignity and opportunity for all, across the world. They transform periods into pathways.
Hygiene Education and Resources for Them | Fighting period poverty on a local and international scale, Edmonton, Alberta.
The Period Project was created to address menstrual inequity and period poverty in Calgary. The Period Project is gender inclusive and community led. The goal of The Period Project is to come together to help women, trans, and non-binary Calgarians who menstruate access the essentials they need.
Mennonite Central Committee
MCC launched a new menstrual hygiene dignity kit on International Women's Day, offering much-needed sustainable support for vulnerable women and girls. Learn how to make the kits to contribute to this cause.
No Woman Without
No Woman Without provides menstrual hygiene products to front-line agencies in Edmonton, as well as advocates for free access to products for all.
Red Purse Foundation
The Red Purse Foundation promotes good menstrual hygiene management to make a positive difference in the lives of girls from humble backgrounds in Kenya, East Africa.
Soroptomist International of Central Alberta in partnership with the
United Way Central Alberta, United Way Capital Region
In partnership with the United Way of Central Alberta, Soroptomist International of Central Alberta received a grant to purchase and install dispensers and free menstrual hygiene products in 4 schools in the Red Deer Public School District in all bathrooms, and this pilot project will run for 15 months, gathering data for future advocacy work with school districts and government. The project is called The Period Promise and the second initiative of the campaign collects products during the month of May. Listen to a recent podcast from the Inter-Council Network about this initiative.
The Period Purse - Edmonton
The Period Purse - Edmonton is a local chapter of The Period Purse. The Period Purse strives to achieve menstrual equity by providing people who menstruate with access to free menstrual products, and to reduce the stigma surrounding periods through public education and advocacy.
New Product Innovations
Based in Edmonton, Ruth is preparing to sell biodegradable and compostable menstrual pads. To support menstrual equity, they are advocating through our social media and their website. Once the product goes to market, they will be giving pads back to communities in need as part of their business model.
Women's Global Health Innovations (BFreeCup)
With their innovative bfree cup and education programming, they support marginalized and vulnerable adolescent girls and young women internationally manage their menstruation with ease, confidence, and personal pride knowing they are the using a menstrual solution that is better for their bodies, their pocket-book, and the environment. This innovation is funded by the Inter-Council Network through the Fund for Innovation and Transformation. Listen to a recent podcast from the Inter-Council Network about this innovation.
More Action and Investment Across Alberta
City of Edmonton:
Providing Free Menstrual Products in Public Washrooms in June 2021
Deep Braich, Calgary
Calgary Teen Recognized for work distributing feminine hygiene kits during pandemic
Edmonton Public School Board
Motion on Free Access to Free Menstrual Products in Edmonton Public Schools. 27 April 2021
Mount Royal University
A closer look at the stigma surrounding menstruation through MRU student's app.
University of Alberta Student Union
Free menstrual oroduct dispenser now available on University of Alberta campus.
University of Calgary
Free Menstrual Products coming to University of Calgary this Summer
Universities in Calgary
Students want period poverty to end on university campuses