Photo By: Brock Menstruation Redefined
According to research conducted by Plan International Canada in 2019, 34% of Canadian women struggled to afford menstrual hygiene products. Furthermore, 63% of Canadian women have had to miss school or work because they were not able to access the products they needed and/or proper sanitation facilities. In an effort to shine light on these issues, fifth-year psychology student Anna-Lise Siering founded Brock Menstruation REDefined.
“Brock’s Chapter of Menstruation REDefined advocates for menstrual equity and period poverty through a variety of initiatives and projects such as fundraisers, volunteering, events and educational meetings that work to bridge the gaps in menstrual product accessibility through an intersectional approach,” said Siering.
As a non-profit organization, Menstruation REDefined’s ultimate objective is for all students across Canada to have access to menstrual hygiene products free of charge through their educational institutions. Fortunately, since the Brock University Students’ Union (BUSU) launched their menstrual equity campaign in 2019, Brock students now have access to free products in several washrooms across campus.
Since then, Brock REDefined has shifted their focus from the Brock community to the Niagara Region as a whole. This year they hope to collaborate with shelters for those experiencing homelessness around Niagara to collect donations and provide educational resources to youth who may need extra guidance or support. Additionally, they hope to erase the stigma surrounding menstruation by creating a welcoming space for those looking to learn more or to help advocate.
Menstrual products are a necessity but can be very costly. For students especially, this creates a great deal of stress. Providing these basic necessities free of charge not only supports students who need them, but also sparks conversation surrounding the issue.
This year, Brock Menstruation REDefined plans to host workshops and discussion panels to help educate the Niagara community about period poverty. Additionally, they are looking forward to meeting general members in-person for the very first time, as they began during the pandemic. While there is still a great deal of uncertainty due to changing COVID-19 guidelines, the executive team is hopeful that club members will be able to volunteer with similar non-profit organizations across the Niagara Region.
“This semester we’re planning to all get together and hold a drop-in night to make some period packs which we can donate to a shelter and to others who need them. I think it will be a super fun way to give back to our community and make our own little change as well as to offer a night where we can hopefully meet our members face to face,” said Faith Meston, Brock Menstruation REDefined Treasurer.
Brock REDefined welcomes all interested students to join them at their events throughout the year, and looks forward to seeing everyone back on campus.
Students looking to get involved are encouraged to visit their Instagram or send an email by clicking here to sign up as a club member. Also, keep an eye out for meetings and events throughout the year to learn about upcoming opportunities.