As students in North America, we have been privileged enough to experience quality education, but somehow even in a first world country like ours, we still face barriers when it comes to talking about periods.
In Africa, 10% of girls will not go to school during their periods, while in India 50% of girls are unfamiliar with menstruation before they even begin puberty. And 88% of females across the world do not have adequate access to feminine hygiene products. These realities are faced by women from around the world simply because they were born female. Now, the problem in Canada or even just here in Edmonton is not nearly as big as those, but girls here in our city still face a significant barrier with accessibility to menstrual products and lack of education regarding feminine hygiene. So I decided to take the project that I am working on – Hempact – to a deeper level through my Stretch Experience.
I will be working with a few high schools here in Edmonton, including Queen Elizabeth High School and McNally High School, to host workshops that focus on normalizing the topic surrounding menstruation, empowering students with a better education on feminine hygiene, and addressing the environmental effects of traditional sanitary pads.
Furthermore, I will be working with USchool at the University of Alberta to incorporate our workshops into their curriculum, and working with a PLLC Mentor to further develop my leadership skills.