Statement by Minister Marci Ien and Parliamentary Secretary Jenna Sudds on Menstrual Hygiene Day
May 27, 2022 – Ottawa, ON – Women and Gender Equality Canada
The Honourable Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth, and Parliamentary Secretary Jenna Sudds issued the following statement today:
“On Menstrual Hygiene Day tomorrow, we reaffirm our commitment to promoting and upholding gender equality.
Every day in Canada and across the world, millions of women and gender-diverse people experience stigma simply because they menstruate. To this day, menstruation is often met with feelings of shame, embarrassment, and hesitancy to engage in meaningful discussions. Unfortunately, too many people also face barriers to accessing menstrual products or educational materials due to financial limitations. Marginalized communities, such as refugees, homeless individuals, sex workers, trans and non-binary people, Indigenous communities, and people living in rural and remote areas, are at greater risk of period poverty.
Access to menstrual products is a basic necessity and a key part of promoting Canadians’ sexual and reproductive health and rights. That’s exactly why we are taking concrete steps to address the barriers related to affordability and stigma that some people in Canada face. Budget 2022 allocated $25 million over two years for Women and Gender Equality Canada to establish a national pilot for the Menstrual Equity Fund, which will help make menstrual products available to people who struggle to afford them. The Menstrual Equity Fund builds on commitments made in 2021 to provide free menstrual products in First Nations schools on reserves and in federal schools across Canada, and to ensure the provision of free menstrual products in federally regulated workplaces.
On this day of awareness and afterwards, we encourage everyone—including boys and men—to engage in conversations that normalize menstruation, challenge any negative perceptions, and advance education. Together, we can build a more progressive Canada while advancing gender equality.”
Press Secretary and Issues Manager
Office of the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth
Women and Gender Equality Canada
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