The Ontario government plans to distribute 6 million free menstrual products annually to school boards provincewide.
It’s an effort in partnership with Shoppers Drug Mart which is intended to improve access to these necessary products for students who menstruate; especially those who may face financial barriers.
The initiative makes Ontario one of four provinces in Canada that has taken action on removing barriers to menstrual products for students who need them, beginning with the 2021/2022 school year.
NEW: Students across Ontario will have access to free menstrual products in school this fall.
— Colin D'Mello CTVNews (@ColinDMello) October 8, 2021
“Through the strong advocacy of young leaders in our schools, it has become extremely clear that menstrual products are a necessity, not a luxury,” said Ontario’s Minister of Education Stephen Lecce.
“This agreement will help remove barriers for women and girls by allowing them to access products at school, free of charge. It is another important way that we are helping to build more inclusive schools that empower all girls to have the confidence to succeed.”
In this pilot year for the initiative, the 6 million menstrual products obtained by the province will be provided to school boards, which will then make decisions about how those products are distributed to schools based on needs.
Read the full release here.