May 28th is Menstrual Hygiene Day; a day dedicated to spreading the word about period poverty, and to getting people all over the world engaged in the fight for menstrual equality. While period poverty, or any forms of poverty, may not seem prevalent in North America at face value, a study conducted by Plan Canada International found that in fact, 68% of Canadian women feel that their periods prevent them from fulling participating in activities. In addition, 50% of people who menstruate have missed school or work due to their periods- raise that to 70% for people under 25!
On average, people who menstruate spend about $6000 on period products alone- a figure that does not include any pain management medication, missed days at work, or any other direct or indirect costs associated with having your period. While you may think that people who cannot afford to purchase period products can find them at shelters, foods banks, and public buildings, it is much harder to find free period products than you’d think! People don’t often think to donate menstrual products and opt for more commonly donated items like food or clothing.
Period poverty doesn’t just impact low-income earners or those who live far in rural or areas with poor access to goods. It can also impact transgender men who may not have the ability to safely purchase period products, those who live in communities or homes where menstruation is stigmatized and shamed, and people who don’t have access to period education and aren’t sure how to properly manage their periods.
Businesses Can Do More
Period Products at Work Should Be The Norm
Businesses know that their washrooms need to have running water, toilet paper, and either a hand dryer or toilet paper to dry your hands. In fact, having those things is mandatory for businesses in many countries including Canada. So why aren’t period products included on that list? For those who menstruate, it’s as inevitable as using the washroom, yet period products are treated as luxury items to this day! Businesses should consider that not everyone has access to period products, and they shouldn’t have to miss work because of it.
An Unexpected Period Can Have a Greater Impact Than You Think
An unexpected period can have a greater impact on someone’s workday than you think. Some washrooms have menstrual product vending machines that require coins to operate. Rarely do people carry change anymore, let alone bring it into the washroom! It also fails to help those may not have the money to spare.
Instead, consider more accessible solution like placing coinless vending machines in every washroom; they deliver period products at the press of a button, no money necessary. Coinless vending is the easiest and most discreet way to provide menstrual products to anyone in your facility. Remember, not all menstruators identify as women!
Don’t Forget About Disposal!
Proper period management includes having a waste management system that lets you safely and hygienically dispose of your period products. Hygienic menstrual disposal means not having to touch someone else’s blood, or the bacteria on a metal wall box, just to throw out your pad. Hygienic menstrual disposal is touch-free, easy to use, control odours, and prevents improper disposal (flushed down the toilet causes blockages, etc.).
Partner With a Company You Trust
Citron Hygiene has been helping companies build healthier and more hygienic spaces for 45 years. Throughout that time, we’ve focused much of our efforts on products and services that promote more progressive washrooms. Championing services like touch-free personal hygiene disposal and coinless vending, we are committed to helping businesses build inclusive spaces! Contact us today to learn more about our facility hygiene programs.