Period poverty affects 500 million people worldwide. When people can’t afford menstrual products they’re less likely to go to school which can have an enormous impact on their development and futures.
It’s estimated that Canadian menstruators can spend up to $6,000 in their lifetimes on period products. In 2015, Canada lifted the tax on these products but the cost still remains high — which means that homeless, low-income, and marginalized people can't always afford them.
Yanique Brandford grew up in Jamaica, where her mom made period products for her out of cardboard and plastic. When Brandford came to Canada she realized that period poverty affects people worldwide and started Help a Girl Out (HAGO) in 2016. Now she’s just been awarded the first-ever Canada’s Hero Award for all of her hard work.
The new Toronto-based non-profit focuses on reducing period poverty and eliminating the stigma associated with menstruation. The organization puts together and distributes care packages with hygiene and sanitary products to underprivileged menstruators in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), to Indigenous communities in Canada’s north and around the world. The small but mighty team also works with volunteers to host product drives, as well as period-kit packing parties.
One way we can all help end period poverty is by spreading the word about the issue and about the local groups that are fighting back. Click now to share this article with your friends over Twitter and help put an end to period poverty.