City Council must keep its promise to provide free menstrual products in city shelters
Last year, the mayor and city councillors committed to making sure free menstrual products are provided in city shelters, drop-ins, respite centres, and community centres. Now, they need to make it happen - by including it in the City’s 2019 budget being debated right now.
***Update*** At the Mayor’s Executive Committee on March 4, 2019 a motion was moved to fund menstrual products in city shelters! Now we need to make sure this motion passes at City Council on March 7. We’ve included details about the motion that passed further below.
This week City Council will be voting on the city budget. This is our chance to make sure city council keeps their promise to marginalized menstruators - making sure they have access to the period products they need.
That’s why Progress Toronto is working with The Period Purse to help you take action on menstrual equity.
Use our email petition to send a message to your city councillor, the mayor, and the city’s budget committee - to ask them to keep their promises and fund barrier-free access to menstrual supplies in shelters, drop-ins, respite centres, and community centres.
Thanks to hundreds taking action, at the Executive Committee on Monday March 4, 2019 a motion was moved and carried to make sure city-funded shelters, drop-ins and respite centres have funding to purchase menstrual products!
$119, 759 in funding was passed to provide access to dispensers for City-partnered shelters, drop-in and respite centres; as well as menstrual hygiene supplies and dispensers for 'Strong Neighbourhood' Community Centres.
$102,600 in funding was passed to provide access to menstrual hygiene supplies at City-partnered shelters, drop-in and respite centres.
A consultative study on the costs to fully fund menstrual hygiene supplies in future budgets was passed. Consultation is expected to take place over the next few months, with a staff report due in May 2019. City Staff have been directed to consult with service providers, program participants, and menstrual equity advocates.
Councillor Wong-Tam took a lead on this at City Hall. See her statement here [PDF]. We still need this to pass at City Council, so please add your name to the petition if you have not yet!
Toronto City Council must fund barrier-free access to menstrual supplies in shelters, drop-ins, respite centres and community centres
In 2018, The Period Purse, a volunteer-run non-profit organization that strives to achieve menstrual equity by providing marginalized menstruators with access to free menstrual products, and to reduce the stigma surrounding periods through public education and advocacy, worked with Kristyn Wong-Tam, Toronto City Councillor, to pass a motion to ensure free menstrual products are provided in city shelters, drop-ins, respite centres and community centres. Mayor John Tory voted in favour of this motion and funding and support must be included in the City’s 2019 Operating Budget to realize the initiative.
The Period Purse launched in February 2017 and in two years they:
Have given over 16,000 healthy, equitable period experiences to marginalized menstruators
Continuously served 65 Toronto shelters, but are only able to support 23% of the demand
Concluded via a 2018 survey that 89% of these shelters do not have resources to buy period products for their constituents
We need to do all we can to ensure Toronto is a livable city for all. We need to do more to support marginalized menstruators who require access to clean period products. Periods are part of life, we each exist because of the menstrual cycle and equitable access to period products is a basic human right. So, why hasn't the city ensured period products are available for marginalized communities?
We need urgent support to ensure menstrual health and gender equity become and remain integral parts of community planning and development. We need action! Sign the petition today.
Photo Credit: EmilyD Photography