Nobody should have to choose between feeding their family and affording basic hygiene products but that’s a choice many British Columbians have to make every month. Periods are a fact of life but the cost of menstrual products is prohibitive to many: street-affected girls and women, and those living in poverty; transwomen experiencing social stigma; and single mothers struggling to feed their children.
That’s why UFCW 1518 has joined the call for a Period Promise for menstrual equity, along with other unions and labour organizations in British Columbia. The United Way of the Lower Mainland’s Period Promise campaign aims to reduce the isolation created by period poverty by collecting products for those in need.
“It’s unacceptable that a basic necessity is unavailable to some people because of their socioeconomic status,” said Secretary-Treasurer Patrick Johnson. “As leaders in our communities, unions are well positioned not only to help provide those products, but to push for social change. Toilet paper is free. Menstrual products should be as well.”
The Period Promise collection campaign runs from March 7 to April 4 across British Columbia. UFCW 1518 has set up a donation box in the union’s main office in New Westminster, and has encouraged stewards to start a collection in their workplaces. But, says Secretary-Treasurer Johnson, charity is not a longterm solution. “We’re only going to solve this problem by pushing for policy change. The only way to reduce the stigma around period poverty is to ensure that menstrual products are free and accessible in the community.”
The union affirmed its commitment by signing the Period Promise Policy Agreement and has been providing free menstrual products to members and staff in the union since January.
Click here to take action and make your Period Promise today.