Period Poverty in Montreal
Many of us have heard about the impacts of insufficient access to period products and the ostracization of menstruators that comes along with it in countries around the world. However, you may not know that it affects people right here, in Montreal. Can you imagine having to choose between dinner and basic dignity, every single month? There are 720+ homeless women in Montreal, and an even greater number living in precarious economic situations who are faced with this dilemma. Period poverty arises when a menstruator doesn't have the financial resources to buy safe, hygenic menstrual products.
As many homeless women have themselves testified, getting their period is one of the most strenuous challenges they face. Their physical discomfort is compounded by their inability to afford menstrual hygiene products, and aggravated by their use of makeshift alternatives.
Monthly Dignity, Our Project
Our first objective is to distribute menstrual hygiene products to individuals who cannot afford them. Monthly Dignity maximizes its financial and environmental sustainability through a tripartite collaborative model with menstrual hygiene producers (FEMPRO & OrganiCup), Moisson Montreal (for storage and deliveries) and Montreal women’s shelters and day-centers (for distribution). FEMPRO offers us products in perfect condition (but with outdated packaging aesthetics) that were previously wasted and OrganiCup creates reusable menstrual cups that can last for up to three years. Simply put, we facilitate dialogue between organizations and companies that should logically work together, but do not have the time to do so. As a result, we have been able to provide 70,000 menstrual hygiene products to individuals who could not have afforded them by their own means.
In addition, Monthly Dignity has a more discursive goal: to destigmatize the issues of homelessness and menstruation and their juxtaposition, via the use of social media, educational resources, informative events and discussions.