The City of Kamloops and the United Way have signed an agreement pledging to offer free menstrual products in city facilities.
City of Kamloops human resources and safety director Colleen Quigley and United Way British Columbia campaign manager Chelsea Ingram signed the policy in advance to International Menstrual Hygiene Day on Sunday. The day was initiated for advocacy of menstrual hygiene management within government policies and programs.
Over the past four months, a pilot study that offered free menstrual products was run within city facilities, including the Tournament Capital Centre.
After the pilot, the city decided to provide free menstrual products within all women’s and gender-neutral washrooms at city arenas and pools.
“Feedback and participation in our pilot rollout reaffirmed the value of what we set out to do while highlighting the best way to move forward,” Quigley said in a news release.
“We will be expanding our provision of free menstrual products into facilities that make the most sense based on public input and potential for positive impact.”
Those who engaged with the pilot program anonymously reported that they felt less stigma, more confidence expressing their need for period products and had more opportunities to better participate in activities.
“Half of everybody who menstruates in B.C. — women, girls, non-binary people and trans folks — have struggled to buy products at some point in their life,” Ingram said.
“When people have access to menstrual products, it improves their health and well-being, gives back dignity, and makes it possible for them to stay engaged in their community.”