PEC Period Party took its cause all the way to Queen’s Park last week.
The United Nations Population Fund describes the difficulties low-income women and girls face affording everyday menstrual products as “period poverty.” The grassroots advocacy group is fighting for its elimination in Prince Edward County. Along with an annual fundraiser, which raises money for those in need, the group wants to raise awareness while creating a safe space to talk about menstrual health.
Ramona Roblin and the rest of the team, Alison Kelly, Kelly Roblin and Nell Casson, were introduced in the legislature as “guests of the house” by the Official Leader of the Opposition, Marit Stiles. The group met afterward with Ms. Stiles to talk about the PEC Period Party project, their successes to date, and how more needs to be done.
Ten-year-old Ramona Roblin of Picton spoke to Ms. Stiles about the need for a gender-inclusive curriculum in schools, in addition to more support for educators who may be uncomfortable speaking about periods. She noted that schools need more than the 3 pads per student per year offered by the Ontario Government and that more variety and better quality products are required.
“Menstruating students want tampons, not those low-quality pads that were clearly made by men,” she said.
Ramona also used the opportunity to advocate for the environment, 2SLGBTQIA+ inclusivity, and will partner with Ms. Stiles to work further toward the elimination of period poverty.
After the meeting, Ramona and the team met with Sabrina Nanji, a journalist with the Queen’s Park Observer. When asked by Nanji what she thought about watching Question and Answer, Ramona answered, “There seems to be a lot of white men and older people in politics who keep talking about how their ideas are the best. What I didn’t hear is how they can do better.”