A recent study found over half of respondents indicated they had struggled to purchase menstrual products.
The results come from a public survey of over 1,600 people done by the United Way and funded by the provincial government. The survey also found the impacts of period poverty are magnified for Indigenous people and people living with disabilities.
“People should not have to face making the choice between buying menstrual products or food,” said Nicholas Simons, minister of social development and poverty reduction. “I thank the United Way of the Lower Mainland for its valuable work on this report, which will help us shape our approach to ending period poverty.”
The provincial government provided $107,000 to the United Way of the Lower Mainland to conduct the Period Promise Research Project.
Free menstrual products were distributed to 12 non-profit agencies throughout the province to provide to clients. The agencies reported back on the results of the project and, where possible, clients were asked for feedback on their experience with period poverty.
One of the non-profit agencies was Nanaimo’s Society for Equity, Inclusion & Advocacy, which distributed 16,464 menstrual pads and tampons over the course of the year-long project.
“More than 300,000 menstrual products were distributed and the results made it clear that community organizations are essential to building solutions to period poverty in our province,” according to United Way of the Lower Mainland.
The final report highlights how the lack of access to menstrual products has a negative effect on people’s daily activities and participation in their community. It also focuses on the stigma around periods and menstrual products and how that stigma is an added barrier to access.