Fighting for menstrual equity

At Monthly Dignity, we aim to ‘advocate ourselves out of existence’. We love the work we do, but we ultimately do not believe that organizations like ours should need to exist in order for people to have their basic needs met. As such, we advocate for improved access to comprehensive menstrual health education and for policies aimed at alleviating period poverty. From local school boards to Canada’s House of Commons, we advocate for and support the development and implementation of policies and programs aimed at advancing menstrual equity. 

Menstrual Equity in Canada

Canada has made significant strides towards menstrual equity in recent years, and Monthly Dignity is happy to be part of a growing movement of activists and communities across the country pushing this work forward.

“[T]he reality is that we know very little about the scope and impact of period poverty in Canada. Period poverty is a doubly-hidden issue, owing to historic taboos surrounding menstruation and the broader issue of poverty. It is also highly intersectional, disproportionately affecting underserved communities.”

FEWO, Evidence, 15 June 2023, 1615 (Hayley Newman-Petryshen, Co-Director, Monthly Dignity).

Federal Policy Advocacy

Monthly Dignity has also been contributing to national awareness about period poverty, in collaboration with the Government of Canada. In June 2023, our Co-Directors testified before the House of Commons’ Standing Committee on the Status of Women about the state of period poverty in Montréal, alongside other grassroots advocates recounting the realities of period poverty in their respective communities. These testimonies led to the publication of a federal report on period poverty called ‘Let’s Talk About It, Period: Achieving Menstrual Equity in Canada’.

Menstrual Equity Fund Pilot

Monthly Dignity engaged in consultations with Women and Gender Equality (WAGE) Canada to support the strategic planning for the $25 million allotted to menstrual equity in the 2022 federal budget. These consultations led to the creation of the Menstrual Equity Fund (MEF) Pilot in 2023, which aims to address the barriers related to menstrual product access and stigma in Canada by providing free menstrual products and education. Food Banks Canada was selected to administer the MEF pilot, and they are managing the distribution of menstrual products across 400 pilot locations across Canada and working with six menstrual equity organisations, including Monthly Dignity, to deliver menstrual education and raise awareness about period poverty.

We are thrilled that period poverty in Canada is finally beginning to receive the attention and awareness that it deserves, but there is still a long way to go. We are encouraged by the government’s actions so far, and will continue to push for change at all levels of government until period poverty is no longer an issue.

In the media

This section will have logos and bullets of media mentions…

Partnerships

Advocacy is inherently an act of community, and we are proud to have built partnerships to address the multifaceted factors that intersect with period poverty in our community and beyond. Our partners include: