Push for free menstrual products gets traction at committee level in London

The City of London is considering stocking its buildings with free pads and tampons as part of a pilot project to achieve “menstrual equity.”

The community and protective services committee voted unanimously in favour of making the products available at public-facing buildings such as community centres, arenas and aquatic facilities, and having city staff look into stocking all city-owned buildings the same way.

‘Menstrual equity’ means free pads, tampons in all-gender bathrooms in London high schools

“Menstrual products are seen as luxury items whereas paper towel and toilet paper are seen as necessity items,” said Here for Her founder and menstrual equity advocated Rachel Ettinger during the Monday afternoon meeting.

“It’s dignity, it’s pride, it’s how somebody feels about themselves. They shouldn’t have to choose between food and a menstrual product.”

You can already find free pads and tampons inside gender-neutral bathrooms at Thames Valley District School Board high schools and alternative educations classrooms, as well as at Western University and Kings University College.

Ettinger pointed out that the City of Toronto recently invested $200,000 in a similar pilot project for all its community-owned buildings.

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But over at the Bostwick Community Centre this past week, Ward 12 Coun. Elizabeth Peloza said she couldn’t even find a menstrual product machine, let alone an option that was free.

“I thank you bringing this forward, certainly I’m supportive of it,” she said.

The pilot project still has to go to full council next week for a final vote.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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