On Menstrual Health Day, “reduce the stigma,” Nunavut government urges
Schools give away feminine hygiene products to students, but prices remain high
On May 28, Menstrual Health Day, the Government of Nunavut says communities are taking positive steps towards menstrual health by providing feminine hygiene products in schools to students.
Community health representatives also teach about puberty and sexual health to youth across the territory, the GN said in a May 28 public service release.
The GN’s website I Respect Myself also contains information about sexual and reproductive health, puberty, menstruation, and menstrual health products.
“Menstrual health is an important part of overall health for anyone who menstruates, or has their period,” the GN said.
“You can help reduce the stigma surrounding menstruation by informing yourself about menstruation, talking openly about it, and by supporting young girls in learning how to manage their menstruation.”
For years, Inuksuk High School 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.
But if you’re not in school, buying what you need to cope with menstruation can be an expensive proposition.
Earlier this year, at Arctic Ventures some of the most popular brands of tampons like Tampax cost $17.99 for 40 tampons.
Those who menstruate typically will bleed for roughly one week, and doctors recommend changing a tampon at least every four to eight hours to avoid infections and toxic shock syndrome.
That means that a menstruating woman could go through at least 21 tampons each month. Over the course of a year, that adds up to anywhere between 250 and 500 tampons, or six to 12 boxes. At Iqaluit retail prices, that could cost between $107.94 and $215.88 a year.
Over the past year there have been some efforts to lower the prices of these essential supplies.
A Quebec-based group called Flo Collective is working to create a customizable subscription service for northern communities so that tampons are no longer so expensive.
And last summer a visitor to Iqaluit came bearing four hockey bags of menstrual products to give away.