United Way’s Period Promise is very excited to announce the launch of the Period Poverty Task Force in partnership with the Government of British Columbia.
The timing for the announcement couldn’t be better. Tomorrow, May 28th, is Menstrual Health Day in Canada. #MHDay is devoted to discussing menstrual equity and period poverty in our communities, and building solutions focused on supporting human dignity. That is exactly the responsibility of this task force over the next two years. A final report by the Task Force will be provided in March 2024.
“Not being able to access period supplies can negatively affect people’s ability to go about their day-to-day activities and do necessary things like attending school or going to work,” said Nicholas Simons, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “The new task force will explore the various factors that contribute to period poverty and find solutions that can benefit British Columbians.”
The Government of BC is supporting United Way BC with $750,000 to cover the cost of running the task force and help the Period Promise campaign build more sustainable solutions to increasing access to free menstrual products in our communities. Both of these were key recommendations that came out of the Period Promise Research Project, which was also supported by the Government of BC.
Nikki Hill, a long-time community leader on the issue of period poverty in BC, has been named the chair for the task force. “Back when United Way published the results of the Period Poverty Research Project, many of us knew that we had only begun to scratch the surface on the issue of limited access to menstrual products in BC,” says Nikki.
She went on to say, “this new task force is going to build our understanding of the issue as it is felt in people’s day-to-day, and then start building solutions that make sense. Having it supported and recognized by the provincial government is a huge advancement for the issue as a whole.”
Michael McKnight, President and CEO of United Way British Columbia, agrees with Nikki. “We are looking forward to diving deeper into the issue and building solutions by bringing experts together from across the province. This is part of how we can help increase access to vital menstrual products and programming province-wide.”
Niki Sharma, Parliamentary Secretary for Community Development and Non-Profits, added that “the work of United Way British Columbia to end period poverty and make menstrual products easier to access is another great example of how non-profits help make society better.”
In the coming months, the remaining task force members will be appointed by the Government of BC in collaboration with United Way British Columbia. Then the work will begin in earnest, with an exploration into a service and gaps analysis for the province and reviewing existing knowledge in community and published research.
Look for more information on the Task Force to be available soon. In the meantime, feel free to connect with United Way’s Period Promise (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like to provide any insights on areas the Task Force should consider, read our Period Promise Research Project Final Report to see what data the Task Force will be using to start their exploration or contribute to our ongoing research into period poverty in BC by responding to our Period Poverty Survey!