What is Menstrual Health Day?
Menstrual Health Day (MH Day), celebrated on May 28, brings together organizations, non-profits and individuals worldwide to build awareness on the importance of menstrual health and hygiene. May 28 is symbolic because May is the 5th month of the year, most menstruators have their periods for 5 days and cycles average 28 days. This day was first celebrated 11 years ago and our efforts to ensure the most vulnerable populations continue to have healthy periods has been exacerbated by the global pandemic:
- Toronto Food Bank partners have reported a 100-300% increase in demand for period products
- In the first four months of 2021, we donated over 30,000 healthy periods, almost doubling our donations in 2020
Through the pandemic and transitioning online, The Period Purse (TPP) volunteers and donors have remained resilient and continue to live and breathe the TPP mission; providing people who menstruate with access to free menstrual products, and to reduce the stigma surrounding periods through public education and advocacy.
Why does MH Day matter now?
MH Day is also an opportunity for advocacy and through partnership with several cities; you may have noticed a few things that happened around your neighbourhood;
- For the third year in a row, John Tory has proclaimed MH Day in Toronto, along with five other cities in Ontario; Sault Ste. Marie, Newmarket, Markham, Oakville, and Burlington
- The Period Purse flag was raised in Toronto, Newmarket and Sault Ste. Marie
- We lit monuments up across the country in Edmonton, Hamilton, Lethbridge, Mississauga, Montreal, Niagara Falls, Toronto and Vancouver
These initiatives along with our continued efforts to raise awareness and collect donations will bring us closer to menstrual equity. Menstruation is not a problem, poor menstrual health is.
As the world continues to focus their energy on the global pandemic, menstrual health remains top of mind for The Period Purse. Menstruators struggling with internalized shame and lack of access to period products, coupled with the pandemic have suffered vastly on all fronts. For TPP, MH Day is celebrated every day. We hope to lift the dignity of menstruators and you can help too; whether you're spending time educating family and friends, learning about the cause or donating - every action counts!