Menstrual health is a public health crisis for Indigenous youth – Toronto Star

‘Period poverty’ encompasses, but is not limited to, a lack of accessible, affordable and safe menstrual products.

Oct. 13, 2022

Tampons can cost between $16 to $45 in remote Indigenous communities, which means some youth use socks instead of tampons in Nunavut, while others have to miss school in Saskatchewan.

Sustainable alternatives are not a convenient option for youth who wish to use them as washing and caring for reusable period products requires clean, sanitary water, which is not a reality due to 34 long-term drinking water advisories on reserves. Some advisories have been in place for more than 25 years, such as in Neskantaga First Nation.

This is a violation of the United Nations’ recognized human right to water and sanitation and is a socio-economic barrier that negatively impacts the physical and mental health of Indigenous youth. But these parameters are obscured when in fact, making even the smallest ripples toward advocacy of menstrual equity can give rise to seismic change.

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