United Way’s Period Promise campaign continues to make strides once thought impossible by getting free menstrual products into more places than ever before. We’re doing this with school districts, the provincial government, municipal governments, unions, and with businesses who want to be a part of the solution.
The Period Promise Policy Agreement is how we’re making that change possible.
By signing onto our policy agreement, organizations of all shapes and sizes commit to provide free tampons and pads to their staff and guests. It’s a big step forward because it helps us normalize our central mission: menstrual products should be available wherever people need them, when they need them.
Vancity brings Period Promise into their bathroom
On October 17th Vancity announced that they signed onto the Period Promise Policy Agreement and had placed free tampons and pads in their washrooms.
Parliamentary Secretary Mitzi Dean attended and spoke at the announcement.
“Having a period is a part of life for more than half our population and ensuring these products are readily available meets a basic human need for those who menstruate,” she said. “I commend Vancity for taking up the charge.”
The Vancity team views this commitment as an extension of their role in the community as a credit union. Christine Bergeron, Vancity’s Chief Member Services Officer, said: “by taking this step forward, we hope to remove some of the stigma around menstruation and show our support for the overall campaign while also making menstrual products available to our employees.”
Vancity saw the potential in the United Way Period Promise campaign long ago, when they funded the research and development of the policy agreement. Since then they’ve been working internally to implement it. Now, more than 2500 employees at each of their branches are going to have access to this product when they need it at work.
Michael McKnight, President and CEO of United Way of the Lower Mainland, thanked Vancity for their longtime commitment to working with the United Way on this issue. “We’re encouraged to see progressive, pace-setting organizations like Vancity take such a leadership role when it comes to tackling period poverty locally.”
The movement has momentum
Vancity is now one of more than 20 different organizations that have signed onto the Period Promise Policy Agreement since it was launched in March 2019. Their commitment shows that there is a growing understanding of the need for free tampons and pads outside of the home, and the role that organizations can play in the movement.
United Way Labour Cabinet
The list is an exciting mix. Financial institutions, unions and labour organizations, school districts and municipal governments, insurance companies, and other businesses. Conversations with additional partners are starting up nearly every day.
Unions have played a central role in helping the United Way develop and expand the Period Promise campaign. Of course, the importance of making change happen bit-by-bit so that large scale shifts are possible isn’t lost on labour leadership.
“The labour movement is proud to support United Way’s Period Promise campaign,” says Janet Andrews, Secretary-Treasurer of the New Westminster & District Labour Council and Board Member at United Way of the Lower Mainland.
“Period poverty impacts the most vulnerable in our communities, but commitments like Vancity’s go a long way toward addressing the need by supplying and promoting free tampons and pads in our washrooms. To make our workplaces and communities more equitable and accessible a commitment like this just makes sense.”
Join the movement – sign the policy agreement
Michael McKnight sees the potential and long-term impact that signing onto the policy agreement could create. “This policy and signatories like Vancity are decreasing the vulnerability and isolation created by period poverty, on a wider scale, across our communities. The more organizations that sign on the sooner we will all see the changes we know need to happen.”
Is your organization interested in signing onto the policy agreement? Are you curious about costs, or how to implement the policy shift? Or are you interested in getting connected to the Period Promise campaign? Connect with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 604.294.8929 and join the movement.