Halton’s public school board will offer free menstrual products in its schools by September 2021.
The program aims “to address some of the gaps in access to menstrual products to promote awareness and alleviate the stigma of menstruation,” reads an April 8 release from the Halton District School Board.
“Access and availability of menstrual products in schools impacts the dignity and self-esteem of menstruating students and can impact class attendance and student achievement,” Jewel Amoah, a human rights and equity adviser with the board, said in the release. “Free access to menstrual products supports both gender and economic equity as well as to raise awareness of, and destigmatize, the natural biological process of menstruation.”
The board piloted the program in four schools — White Oaks Secondary School, Dr. Frank J. Hayden Secondary School, Craig Kielburger Secondary School and Georgetown District High School — in the fall of 2020.
In Hamilton, 10 public schools received pads and tampons in February 2020 as part of a pilot project launched jointly by the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) and the United Way of Halton and Hamilton.