To further reduce period poverty and increase access to free menstrual products, applications for funding are open.
Funding for as much as $25,000 per project is available to charities, non-profits and independent researchers for community-based, short-term, pilot projects that test models for increasing access to free menstrual products in British Columbia.
A total of $220,000 is available. Funding is disbursed by United Way British Columbia from funding provided by the Province. Applications close Nov. 7, 2022.
“People should not have to choose between buying menstruation products and other essentials, such as food or transportation,” said Niki Sharma, Parliamentary Secretary for Community Development and Non-Profits. “We want to eliminate financial barriers for people with low incomes who menstruate and also destigmatize menstruation in the process.”
New appointments to the period poverty task force have also been made. Joining Nikki Hill, who was appointed chair in May, are Zeba Khan, A.J. Lowik, Tiffany Ottahal, Kate Fish, Jackie Jack and Lori-Ann Armstrong.
Task force members will recommend to government possible solutions regarding period poverty in British Columbia. They are to submit their final report by March 31, 2024.
Grace Lore, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity –
“When people cannot afford or access menstrual products, they can face barriers to work and education. We also know that to help address period poverty we must uproot the stigma around menstruation. This is why our government has mandated that every public school in B.C. provides stigma-free access to free menstrual products. No one in British Columbia should face barriers to school or work because they can’t afford or access basic hygiene products.”
Nikki Hill, chair, Period Poverty Task Force –
“The work of dedicated partners, government and advocates from across British Columbia in the past six years has led to progress on addressing period poverty, but we know from the findings from the Period Poverty Research Project that the issue of limited access to menstrual products needs solutions that can only result from bringing experts together. The period poverty grants ensure people will continue to receive menstrual products in communities through established and emerging programs.”
- In 2020, the Province provided $107,000 to the United Way British Columbia to conduct the Period Promise Research Project.
- Students in B.C. have had access to free menstrual products in all public school washrooms since 2019.
- Through TogetherBC, B.C.’s poverty-reduction strategy, the Province has reduced B.C.’s overall poverty rate by 52% and child poverty rate by 71% .
To read the eligibility criteria and apply for funding, visit: www.uwbc.ca/period-poverty-fund
United Way's Period Promise Campaign: www.periodpromise.ca
TogetherBC, the Province’s poverty-reduction strategy: www.gov.bc.ca/togetherbc
A backgrounder follows.