File photo

File photo

Column: Everything has a day, even your period

Menstruation is one of the top two reasons that women miss work in Canada.

There is a day for everything, and everything has a day.

Sounds biblical, doesn’t it?

Some days are super serious and important. Nov. 11 springs to mind. Coming up on June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day.

This year the federal government declared a National Nursing Week between May 10 and 16 and well deserved.

The third Sunday in July is National Ice Cream Day in Canada. We scooped that one from the United States. President Ronald Reagan officially designated it in 1984.

This year, Aug. 26 is National Dog Day, National Hot Dog Day is July 21 and National Cat Day is Aug. 8. There is an International Kissing Day, July 6, 2021. National Hot Fudge Sundae Day is July 25.

Of course, International Women’s Day is always March 8. International Men’s Day is from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 of any given year but is especially noted on Nov. 19.

Menstrual Hygiene Day was celebrated globally last week, May 28. There wasn’t a parade or anything.

However, British Columbia Infrastructure Benefits (BCIB), a Crown corporation employing skilled trades and construction workers, took time to announce the company will provide free menstrual products for its employees.

This is in cooperation with United Way, which has the mandate to reduce period poverty.

Research shows more than 20 per cent of people who menstruate have missed work due to being unable to access menstrual products. Meanwhile, 30 per cent of people who menstruate have had to leave work for the same reason. Menstruation, in fact, is one of the top two reasons that women miss work in Canada.

BCIB sets an example every employer should consider. Menstruation is a biological happening – one without none of us would actually be here. Look at it this way: business and industry do not require people to bring their own toilet paper to work. Just shift the paradigm ever so slightly and it makes sense.

United Way is also committed to reducing the stigma surrounding menstruation.

Despite being the most normal thing in the world, that stigma is real.

Many years ago it was referenced as ‘the curse,’ also ‘your little friend’ and ‘your monthly visitor.’

If your brother was in the room and a Kathy Rigby commercial for Stay Free Maxi Pads came on the television, you simply fled.

There was a hot sense of shame associated with the mention of menstruating, And that was almost as painful as the cramps, bloating, mood swings, sore breasts and damned inconvenience that were all to follow.

The confidence that comes with age is a wonderful thing, and so is getting your own back.

Approximately half of the world’s population menstruates. It is ordinary and necessary. Period.

Andrea DeMeer is the publisher and editor of the Similkameen Spotlight.

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