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Through a ministerial order issued on on April 5th, BC’s Ministry of Education has mandated that all public schools in the province will be required to provide free menstrual products in washrooms by the end of 2019.

See also: Here’s why you might see a BC Transit bus full of menstrual products this weekend

“Students should never have to miss school, extracurricular, sports or social activities because they can’t afford or don’t have access to menstrual products,” said Education Minister Rob Fleming.

“This is a common-sense step forward that is, frankly, long overdue. We look forward to working with school districts and communities to make sure students get the access they need with no stigma and no barriers.”

The ministerial order takes effect immediately but will give school districts until the end of 2019 to meet this new requirement.

In addition, the province will provide $300,000 in startup funding, and then work with school districts, community and education partners to look at the needs of each district, identify gaps and ensure they have the funding necessary to comply with the order.

The government is also issuing a one-time grant of $95,000 to support United Way Period Promise and help them fund menstrual products for up to 10 non-profit agencies and research how best to provide services and products for women.

According to a research referenced by the ministry, one in seven students has missed school due to their periods because they cannot afford menstrual products.

“Having your period is a part of life, and easy and affordable access to menstrual products should be simple,” said Mitzi Dean, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity and MLA for Esquimalt-Metchosin.

“Menstrual products should be available to people when and where they need them, which is why we’re improving access in schools and in communities.”

According to a research referenced by the ministry, one in seven students has missed school due to their periods because they cannot afford menstrual products.