Advocating for Period Dignity
The experience of menstruation is not a universal one, but rather experienced on a wide spectrum by people who identify, and don’t identify, as women. While menstruation is a natural biological process, it is oftentimes vailed with stigma, shame, and in many cases seen as taboo. This stigmatization can make it very difficult for people who menstruate to experience and manage their periods in a dignified way. Which is why we, as builders of healthy and inclusive spaces, are strong advocates for period dignity.
Period Dignity is about access. Access not only to menstrual products but to the education and support needed to manage one’s period with dignity. It’s an umbrella term that includes addressing both period poverty and period equity.
Period Dignity involves being able to:
- Experiencing your period without the vale of stigma or shame
- Openly, without embarrassment, ask for or purchase the period products you need
- Safely and hygienically dispose of your period products
- Have access to proper hand-washing facilities
- Participate fully in school, work and social activities regardless of your period
Project Purse is a grassroots initiative that collects purses filled with period products and other personal hygiene items, and donates them to people in need throughout Ontario. On Dec 16th, 2020 Citron Hygiene was proud to sponsor a Project Purse Event in Ottawa, Ontario, working alongside the Ottawa Police Department. We helped to collect and disinfect donations so they could safely be given to those in need during the pandemic. Click here to learn more about Project Purse.
Menstrual Hygiene Day
Menstrual Hygiene Day is a global movement aimed at eliminating period stigma while shining a light on period poverty. Citron Hygiene sponsored MHDay 2020; an event that brings together advocates for period poverty and allows them to speak on different issues. On May 28th, 2020, Citron Hygiene helped educate attendees on the importance of having access to safe and hygienic menstrual disposal. Click here to learn more about MHDay.
Tampon Tuesday began as a local movement in London, Ontario, after it was noticed that menstrual products are the most requested, yet least donated item at food banks and shelters. In response, CTV London created Tampon Tuesday to encourage people to donate menstrual and personal hygiene items to their local foods banks and donation boxes. In 2020, Citron Hygiene sponsored Tampon Tuesday in London, Ontario, helping raise awareness and donating ourselves. Click here to learn more about Tampon Tuesday.
Building Inclusive Washrooms
Should Period Products be Treated as Luxury Items?
The washroom is one of the most used spaces in any facility. So why aren’t they more inclusive? Toilet paper, paper towels, and soap are regarded as restroom necessities as they cater to the normal biological process of having to use the restroom. It’s why in many places, having those items is mandated by law. Menstrual products like pads and tampons serve a similar biological need, yet are treated as luxury items and are rarely freely available in public restrooms.
Not all menstruators Identify as Women
Not all women menstruate, and not all menstruators identify as women. It’s important to remember this fact and consider if your hygiene programs are impacting everyone equally. Are you only providing menstrual disposal in the women’s restrooms? Do non-female identifying menstruators have access to period products in case of an unexpected period? With over 2/3 of transgender people avoiding public restrooms in fear of their safety, ensuring you are providing a safe and discreet way for people to dispose of their menstrual products is the right thing to do.
Coinless Vending Improves Access
Touch-Free Menstrual Hygiene Units for Proper Disposal
No one should have to miss school our work because of their period. Which is why Citron Hygiene has always been a strong advocate for Coinless Vending. Coinless vending allows people to access pads and tampons free of charge. This eliminates the need carry around change, or to ask a stranger, coworker or peer.
Citron has installed thousands of Coinless Vending units throughout schools and businesses, helping them fight period poverty within their facility. We are passionate about educating our customers on the importance of period poverty and maintain an inclusive approach to our facility hygiene programs.
Proper disposal is an essential part of menstrual management. No one should have to fear for their safety or feel embarrassed just to dispose of their period products.
Inadequate menstrual disposal like the traditional metal wall box is unhygienic and unsafe. Having proper disposal in all restrooms gives all menstruators the ability to safely dispose of their period products.
At Citron, we believe that not all hygiene programs should be the same, and businesses must adjust their approach to ensure equitable outcomes. Creating equitable hygiene outcomes will help businesses build safer, more progressive facilities for all.