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Halton Hills Joins Menstruation Nation – Period.

Menstruation, it’s a monthly biological process undergone by most women. Canadian Women spend up to $6000 over their life span on menstrual hygiene products and spend upwards of six years menstruating (www.cpha.ca/period-poverty). According to Plan International’s 2019 survey, more than four in ten Canadian girls and women report having to sacrifice something else in their budget to afford hygiene products, especially between the ages of 18 and 24 (plancanada.ca). There is a movement gaining ground to end ‘period poverty’ because some believe access to menstrual hygiene products, just like toilet paper and soap, are essential and should be free. Having products available in bathrooms provides dignity and eliminates the barrier of having to ask. The City of London was the first Canadian municipality to adopt a permanent free menstrual product policy with other cities and school boards following suit. In March 2019 the Halton Hills Library Board voted to provide free feminine hygiene products in their bathrooms. In August 2019 Warren Harris, Commissioner of Recreation and Parks Halton Hills, issued a memorandum “to advise Council of the steps taken by staff to retrofit existing menstrual product dispensers in Town facilities to offer products free of charge.” The memo referred to similar programs “Period Equity” and “Menstruation Nation” with the goal to “reduce stigma associated with menstruation and ensure ready access, especially to those that may be economically challenged.” Acton UP contacted Mayor Rick Bonnette who said “It’s the 21 st century and about time we support women’s needs. Quite frankly if we thought of it we should of done this years ago.” Existing dispensers have been retrofitted in the Cultural Centre, The Georgetown and Acton Libraries, the Gellert and Acton Arena and Town Hall. The signage at these facilities indicate: “It’s life. Period. Free products courtesy of the Town of Halton Hills.” (Photo of retrofitted dispenser in Acton Library gender neutral washroom)




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