2024Media releases

Alberta Blue Cross® teams up with United Way of the Alberta Capital Region on Menstrual Hygiene Day to normalize menstruation as a normal everyday part of life

In recognition of today being Menstrual Hygiene Day, Alberta Blue Cross® is teaming up with United Way to address period poverty in our communities.

Menstrual health is a fundamental aspect of human rights, dignity and public health. Menstrual Hygiene Day, observed annually on May 28, raises awareness to help continue to normalize menstruation as a normal everyday part of life for people born with uteruses. This awareness campaign also aims to highlight the importance of good menstrual hygiene management.

“Alberta Blue Cross®’s sponsorship of the Period Promise campaign aligns with our commitment to advancing health and gender equity,” says Brian Geislinger, senior vice-president, Corporate Relations and Community Engagement. Period Promise works to ensure free access to menstrual products in the school system, through social service agencies and other organizations as well as employers.”

Alberta Blue Cross® became one of the first partners of the Period Promise initiative last year through a sponsorship with United Way. Period Promise is a multi-levelled approach to address period poverty in our communities. By working with governments, businesses, schools and other organizations, the campaign provides access to period products while also destigmatizing menstruation. As a corporate sponsor, Alberta Blue Cross® provides funds to help spread awareness of period poverty and how our communities can get involved; in addition, funds are used to provide free period products to vulnerable populations.

In addition to being a corporate sponsor, Alberta Blue Cross® has also joined the Period Promise pledge by providing stigma and cost-free access to menstrual hygiene products in all women’s washrooms at their offices, as well as hosting period product drives to collect menstrual hygiene products.

According to the 2023 public opinion research survey conducted by Environics Research on behalf of Women and Gender Equality Canada, almost one-quarter of people who menstruate in Canada report struggling to afford menstrual products for themselves or their children. Monthly menstruation products are a necessity, but for vulnerable people they can be hard to come by. In fact, one in six Canadians who menstruate have personally experienced period poverty; this rises to one in four if their households earn less than $40,000 a year.¹

That barrier to a basic need can limit a person’s ability to work and provide for themselves. It also impacts their dignity, health, and wellbeing.

“Addressing period poverty is more than providing access to menstrual products; it’s about affirming dignity, creating inclusivity and challenging outdated stigmas”, says Rob Yager, president and CEO, United Way of the Alberta Capital Region. “The Period Promise initiative, in partnership with leading organizations, such as the Alberta Blue Cross®, amplifies our reach and impact, creating a united front against period poverty. Every individual deserves to manage their menstrual health without barriers or shame. This collaboration underscores our collective commitment to address these barriers, one period product at a time. By rallying businesses, schools and community organizations to take the Period Promise Pledge, we’re taking a significant step towards ensuring no one is left behind due to period poverty.”

About Alberta Blue Cross®

As the largest provider of health benefits in Alberta, we believe we have the potential and responsibility to impact people’s lives for the better. We believe all communities should thrive, and we are committed to serving as a champion for wellness by promoting the health of Albertans.

About United Way of the Alberta Capital Region

United Way of the Alberta Capital Region unites changemakers in the Edmonton area to address complex community issues. Our focus is to create impactful, systemic change by strengthening mental wellbeing, eliminating educational barriers and empowering financial security. We collaborate with social agencies, schools, organizations and governments to deliver programs and services that empower people to improve their lives. As a trusted community connector, we facilitate dialogue, foster collaboration and increase understanding around complex issues, aiming to build strong, connected and resilient communities where no one is left behind.

For more information, please contact Sharmin Hislop, director of Corporate Communications, Alberta Blue Cross® at shislop@ab.bluecross.ca or 780-231-6356 or Catherine Lee-Hannley, director of Brand and Corporate Communications, United Way of the Alberta Capital Region at clee-hannley@myunitedway.ca.

¹ https://women-gender-equality.canada.ca/en/funding/menstrual-equity-fund.html

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