Trustee Anu Sriskandarajah

TDSB solves the problem of period poverty with free menstrual products

“Period poverty” is the motivating factor behind the Toronto District School Board’s new policy of providing free menstrual products to students in elementary and secondary schools. The initiative is in partnership with the charitable organization, Physical and Health Education Canada, which will be providing the products at no charge to the TDSB.

Period poverty refers to barriers faced by menstruating girls and women who are unable to access or afford feminine hygiene products. The adoption of this policy sends the message to all students that TDSB trustees are unanimous in supporting the health and well-being of TDSB students.

Initiatives are also being explored at the provincial level, in hopes of getting all school boards in the province to adopt a similar policy. The issue of readily available menstrual products in schools should not only be viewed as an issue of economic access. Rather, it is also very much about helping remove the stigma surrounding periods.

The Toronto District School Board is currently working on the details of how to implement the initiative, but the plan is to provide the products this fall starting with students in Grades 7-12.