Addressing Period Poverty in Canadian Schools

In Canada, the problem of period poverty remains very topical, and millions of students cannot afford basic hygienic products.

It affects their health, education, and other aspects of life. Addressing period poverty Canada in school settings remains pertinent in guaranteeing no child lacks the means to succeed.

Therefore, ensuring the availability of menstrual products and educating the students on how to handle their menstrual period appropriately could help them overcome the challenges and embarrassments that come with having a period.

Understanding Period Poverty

What Is Period Poverty?

Period poverty can be defined as a lack of access to menstrual products, proper sanitation facilities, and information. This problem causes several negative outcomes for people who face it, such as having to miss school and experiencing illnesses. In fact, many students in Canada experience this problem on a daily basis.

Impact of Period Poverty on Education

Period poverty affects students and the result is that they don’t attend school. This absenteeism impacts their grades and they even lose self-esteem. Ensuring that young girls and women have access to menstrual products can enable them to stay in school and complete their education.

Efforts to Combat Period Poverty

Government Initiatives

Currently, the government of Canada has deemed period poverty as an important area of concern. Several interventions seek to make menstrual products available in schools for free. Moreover, they also ensure that stigmatizations are minimized and that any necessary supplies are provided to students.

School Programs

Furthermore, many schools have come up with programs to address period poverty. Such programs include the provision of free menstrual products and conducting workshops and talks regarding menstrual health. The given message can support schools in achieving their goal to normalise the conversation around menstruation.

Non-Profit Organisations

Moreover, several non-profit organisations campaign actively against period poverty in Canada. They offer pads, tampons, female sanitising wipes, and menstruation education. These are valuable organisations that aid the students and help raise awareness of this matter.

Key Non-Profit Organisations

Help A Girl Out (HAGO)

Specializing in breaking period poverty, Help A Girl Out (HAGO) has recently been focused on offering free menstrual products and raising awareness. HAGO installs small and inconspicuous lockers containing menstrual products in schools. Moreover, they also provide workshops to enhance students’ knowledge regarding menstruation to help abolish the negative perception of it.

The Period Purse

Secondly, the Period Purse seeks to offer free feminine products to students who are in desperate need of them at school. They also promote education on menstrual health and decrease instances of stigmatization. Additionally, they create a platform whereby students can study without having to worry about their menstruation.

Changing The Flow

The emphasis of Changing The Flow is advocacy and education. It empowers schools and communities to make policy decisions that address menstrual needs. Moreover, their Equity Toolkit in particular outlines actionable guidelines for schools to tackle period poverty.

How Schools Can Address Period Poverty

Provide Free Menstrual Products

Firstly, schools can begin by offering free feminine products in washrooms and the school’s nurse station. This little action can go a long way in easing the plight of students who often find it hard to afford such necessities.

Educate Students and Staff

Furthermore, education is the way forward in dealing with stigma and offering students the necessary support. Schools should provide students with sufficient information about menstrual hygiene. In addition to that, another area that must be addressed is the preparation of staff and their readiness to be understanding with such students.

Create a Supportive Environment

Importantly, it is imperative that schools establish social norms that encourage students to freely talk about menstruation. This includes having policies and effective communication networks that will favor the students. Moreover, it is also equally important to support student-organized efforts as well.

For more information on how you can get involved in this noble course, please visit this related post.


In conclusion, it is crucial to eliminate period poverty in Canadian schools to ensure that students have proper physical, mental, and social well-being.

Moreover, this requires that every student be provided with an equal opportunity to succeed, which can be enhanced by distributing menstrual products and providing education.

Individually we can only do so much, but collectively we can have a massive impact and help make the school a better place for every student.

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