WATERLOO, Ont. — A southern Ontario school board says it plans to make menstrual products available for free across all its properties.
The Waterloo Region District School Board says products such as pads and tampons will be available in all schools and alternative education centres starting in September.
The board says 88 per cent of high school students contend with what it calls “period poverty” — a lack of access to period products due to financial reasons or not having products when needed.
It says the free products will be found in the accessible, all-gender bathrooms available on school grounds.
A growing number of organizations are calling for or implementing policies to make menstrual products free to all.
Earlier this month the federal government proposed taking the step in workplaces under its jurisdiction.
The New Westminster School Board in British Columbia, as well as homeless shelters in the city of Toronto, will also have free products on offer in the coming months.
The Waterloo board said making the products available will help level the playing field for students.
“No student should have their learning disrupted because they cannot access products,” Director of Education John Bryant said in a statement. “Providing free products to students is one step towards menstrual equity, which will allow students to attend school physically and emotionally, without stigma or barriers.”