African and Caribbean Association of Nunavut fundraises for territory’s girls

Access to tampons and pads “should not be a privilege or luxury but a basic right”

A new online fundraising campaign by the African and Caribbean Association of Nunavut wants to help girls and women in the territory cover the high cost of buying the feminine hygiene products they need. (Photo by Elaine Anselmi)

By Jane George

The African and Caribbean Association of Nunavut wants to help girls and women in the territory cover the high cost of buying the feminine hygiene products they need.

Access to these products, such as tampons and pads, “should not be a privilege or luxury but a basic right,” said the association, which has launched an online fundraising campaign to raise money to buy the menstrual products.

Called “Free Sanitary Pads for Nunavut School Girls,” the online campaign aims to raise funds to buy and distribute packs of menstrual products to schoolgirls across Nunavut.

The African and Caribbean Association of Nunavut said the goal is to improve the current situation in Nunavut communities, which sees some adolescent girls miss school due to the high costs of buying pads and tampons.

“The missed school days have long term effects on Nunavut school girls’ education and their self-esteem. More so, missing classes often leads to the likelihood of dropping out of school hence leading to limited career options later in life,” said the association in a release.

“It is a fact that lack of access to affordable sanitary products is a global problem. However, we believe that we can make a difference by starting (at) home.”

The association, formed in March 2018, includes members who have come to Nunavut from various places, including Africa, the Caribbean and other regions.

The association said its mission is to organize activities “to celebrate and promote the diversity and inclusiveness of our communities, as well as raise awareness on our communities’ social needs and work together with other partners to combat them.”

After a change to Nutrition North subsidies this past August, feminine hygiene products are now subsidized when brought in by sealift.

But they are still more expensive than in southern Canada.

There have been other efforts to make essential menstrual supplies more accessible.

A Quebec-based group called Flo Collective said it wants create a customizable subscription service for northern communities so that tampons will no longer be so expensive.

And in the summer of 2018 a visitor to Iqaluit came bearing four hockey bags of menstrual products to give away.

This past May 28, Menstrual Health Day, the Government of Nunavut said communities are taking positive steps towards menstrual health by providing feminine hygiene products in schools to students.

For years, Inuksuk High School in Iqaluit has kept a well-stocked supply of feminine hygiene products in at least four different locations around the school. Students can also take these products home to ensure they have protection after the school day is over.

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(10) Comments:

  1. Posted by Reader on

    sure the price changed- look at date on picture oct 24 2017.

  2. Posted by Other reader on

    This is a nice gesture, but free pads won’t affect school attendance one bit. Teenagers have had periods for as long as there have been teenagers. In Canada women can move about freely while menstruating. Life is so good in the 21st century that do-gooders have to look harder and harder to invent crises to fight. In Nunavut, teenagers skip school because they don’t want to go, and nobody makes them.

    • Posted by David on

      Life is so good in the 21st century that do-gooders have to look harder and harder to invent crises to fight.
      That’s not what this is at all.

      You constantly read in the news claims from Nunavummiut that Nunavut has “third world conditions” . The truth is, there isn’t a country in the third world that wouldn’t be very grateful for this donation as this is a major issue for girls in third world countries.

      Perhaps the problem here isn’t the “do gooders”.

      • Posted by Other reader on

        Exactly right – the third world would be a great place to send these products. Nunavut is not the third world, no matter what the activists want you to believe.

        • Posted by Anything is Welcomed on

          Try convincing those that live in tents, shacks and overcrowded housing that they don’t live in third world conditions.

          • Posted by Other reader on

            Well, anyone, anywhere, can and will live in third world conditions if they don’t go to school, don’t train for available jobs, don’t apply for and accept available jobs, have kids before they are able to support them, have too many kids, refuse to move to communities where jobs are available, waste money on addictions and gambling, and so on. It’s not the tampons that are holding people back, even though it’s a nice gesture for some to be provided free. More free stuff is not the answer to improving living conditions in Nunavut. The opportunities and tools are there, but individuals have to start using them.

          • Posted by David on

            The richest countries in the world and the richest cities in the world have homeless people that have made bad choices. Vancouver is one of the nicest cities in the world with one of the highest standards of living. But they have people living in shacks.

            Nunavut does have third world population growth and there are negatives that come with that.

    • Posted by Northern Guy on

      Contrary to what you may believe inadeqaute and inequitable access to these kinds of products is a major disincentive for girls attending middle and high schools in Nunavut and across Canada. This is something that is badly needed and I applaud the African and Caribbean Association of Nunavut for taking this on, though in reality this is a public health issue that should be addressed by the GN.

      • Posted by Flo ridah on

        Girls in Nunavut schools get free menstrual products. Any product imaginable.

  3. Posted by Aunt Flo on

    What a kind thing to do! That said, all girls in Iqaluit get free menstrual products from both high school and middle school. They have access to pads, tampons and even Diva Cups if they need them. I’m not sure about the smaller communities though.
    So if girls in Iqaluit are missing school, it isn’t because they don’t have unrestricted access to menstrual products.
    Still a really kind thing to do though, and I’m sure money raised will be used in a way that benefits the intended recipients:)

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