The government announced this morning that all B.C. public schools will be required to provide free menstrual products to students.
Under a ministerial order issued on April 5 that takes effect immediately, schools have until the end of 2019 to make the products available in its washrooms.
In a press statement, Education Minister Rob Fleming said normalizing and equalizing access to menstrual products in schools will help create a better learning environment.
“This is a common-sense step forward that is, frankly, long overdue. We look forward to working with school districts and communities to make sure students get the access they need with no stigma and no barriers,’ said Fleming.
“Students should never have to miss school, extracurricular, sports or social activities because they can’t afford or don’t have access to menstrual products.”
The ministerial order comes with $300,000 in provincial start-up funding, and the ministry will work closely with school districts to ensure they have enough funding to meet this new requirement.
The government will also provide a one-time grant of $95,000 to support the United Way Period Promise Research Project, which will go toward menstrual products for up to 10 non-profit agencies to help research how to best provide products and services for people who go through the menstruation cycle each month.
“Having your period is a part of life, and easy and affordable access to menstrual products should be simple,’ said Mitzi Dean, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity, in a press statement.
“Menstrual products should be available to people when and where they need them, which is why we’re improving access in schools and in communities. These actions are going to make a big difference in the lives of people who menstruate, and I’m proud that our government is taking leadership on this issue.”