The Government of BC has announced that all public schools in the province will be required to provide free menstrual products to students.
The announcement was made by Education Minister Rob Fleming on Friday morning.
“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,” said Fleming, adding that current research indicates that one in seven students has missed school due to their periods because they cannot afford products.
Many people can’t afford or don’t have access to menstrual products. That’s why by the end of 2019, all BC public schools will be required to provide free menstrual products for students. #bced #PeriodPromise https://t.co/cbPhcdXwrY pic.twitter.com/zLcjEmDeXL
— BC Government News (@BCGovNews) April 5, 2019
“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.”
The order takes effect immediately but will allow districts until the end of 2019 to comply. The provincial government will contribute $300,000 to the cause with startup finding.
The provincial government will also provide a one-time grant of $95,000 in support of the United Way Period Promise Research Project. The money will go towards funding menstrual products for up to 10 non-profit agencies and research into how to provide additional support and services for those who menstruate.
From March 7 to April 4, 2019, the United Way also ran its Period Promise campaign. The campaign collected over 500,000 donations of tampons, pads, menstrual cups, and underwear.
The donations will be delivered to dozens of community agencies across Metro Vancouver.
In February, the New Westminster School District became the first in BC to provide free menstrual products to students.
The motion was spearheaded by Vancouver professor Dr. Selina Tribe.
After pushing for a coin-free pad and tampon dispenser to be installed at her daughter’s school in Vancouver, Tribe made it her mission to have other Metro Vancouver schools follow suit.