Saskatchewan government to distribute millions of menstrual products to shelters, schools

Various menstrual products are seen, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)

The province has announced more than three million menstrual products are on their way to schools and emergency shelters for women and girls.

Through a partnership with the provincial government and Shoppers Drug Mart’s Shopper’s Foundation for Women’s Health, a new three-year initiative has been announced.

“Providing access to menstrual products, particularly to protect those who face financial barriers, will make a big difference for women and girls in Saskatchewan,” Laura Ross, the minister responsible for the status of women, said in a statement.

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The province said the shipments will go directly to school divisions, which will determine the schools that will receive the products in their area, with a focus on supporting students who face financial barriers.

In addition to schools, 16 emergency shelters for women fleeing domestic violence will also receive free products for individuals in their shelters.

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“Feminine products are a basic human need for all females and they are expensive,” Prince Albert School Division board chair Suzanne Stubbs said. “This donation not only provides a solution to many women and girls, we know that access to these products can directly impact a student’s ability to engage in their education without the added burden of financial concerns.”

Jo-Anne Dusel, the executive director of the Provincial Association of Transition Houses and Services of Saskatchewan, said women often arrive at the shelters with nothing more than the clothes on their back.

“They may not have access to funds to purchase needed sanitary products or feel safe to leave the shelter to purchase supplies,” Dusel said. “This donation will assist shelters in providing these necessary items and help women survivors rebuild their lives with dignity.”

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