Breaking period stigmas: SOGC marks World Menstrual Hygiene Day championing access to affordable period products, open dialogue

OTTAWA, ON: Menstruation is a natural part of life and impacts half of the population. However, limited access and costs associated with menstrual health needs are an all-too-common challenge for women and girls around the world. Access to safe spaces for open dialogue about menstruation and reproductive health is also needed.

That’s why the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC) joins the global community in marking World Menstrual Hygiene Day 2024, aimed at breaking the silence, raising awareness and changing negative social norms surrounding menstrual health.

As the national voice of women’s health, the SOGC is committed to addressing menstrual hygiene and advocating for menstrual equity.

In Canada, many women and girls still experience period poverty, lacking access to affordable menstrual hygiene products. The SOGC believes all women and girls deserve equitable access to period products and supplies, especially those who are living in vulnerable situations.

We were pleased to see a Menstrual Equity Fund pilot project referenced in Budget 2024, which helps community organizations ensure women have the menstrual products they need. We await further details about this initiative in the 2024 Fall Economic Statement. But we also believe the private sector has an important role to play in addressing period poverty and urge corporate Canada to take more tangible steps to make menstrual hygiene products more affordable and accessible to all Canadian women.

Additionally, menstrual health remains a taboo subject, often shrouded in stigma and misinformation. Women and girls across the world deserve safe spaces to have open dialogue about their menstrual health. The SOGC offers educational resources to its members and to the public at to support educators, health-care providers and individuals foster inclusive conversations about periods and period-related health conditions, like endometriosis.

Creating period-friendly environments in workplaces, schools and public spaces is essential to ensure all women and girls can manage their periods with dignity. Steps that Canadian health care providers, governments and community organizations are taking to address menstrual hygiene demonstrates that Canada is a beacon in the world when it comes to this fundamental aspect of equality for women.

"Menstrual hygiene is not just a women's issue, it is a public health and human rights issue. No woman should have to pay a premium for personal hygiene; period products should be treated no different than toilet paper. The SOGC is dedicated to ensuring that no one is held back by their period." – Dr. Diane Francoeur, Chief Executive Officer of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada.

For media inquiries:
Kelsey MacDonald
Director of Communications and Public Affairs
Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada
[email protected]
613-730-4192 x 228