The Douglas College Menstrual Research Group was founded in 2020 to focus on menstrual equity and health in Canada. It is comprised of researchers from the Sociology and Earth Sciences departments, as well as Student Research Assistants at Douglas College.
Dr. Smith is a Faculty Member and Chair of the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at Douglas College. Her areas of research expertise are sexual and reproductive health, gender-based violence and community-engaged sociology.
Dr. Tribe is a Faculty Member in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Douglas College. She played an important role in getting free menstrual supplies into school restrooms across British Columbia, and continues to lead the efforts on policy change around menstrual equity throughout Canada.
Menstrual Precarity in Surrey, BC: An exploratory study of community supports and population needs
Researchers: Kiran Parmar (project lead) and Lisa Smith
More information on our upcoming research projects coming Fall 2021!
Research on menstrual product availability in the post-secondary context and effects on students was undertaken in 2019 by Dr. Tribe and Dr. Smith. The goal of the project was to examine how students managed menstruation while on campus and if the current availability of menstrual supplies adversely impacted their education.
Aided by 7 Student Research Assistants, the team conducted a physical audit of all sources of menstrual supplies on and around a post-secondary institution and surveyed 370+ students. Results showed gaps and barriers to availability, and how poor access to menstrual supplies led to anxiety, missed classes, academic penalties, and staying at home. Research results are reported in "Post-Secondary Periods: Access to Menstrual Supplies on Campus and Impacts on Students."
Dr. Tribe is currently working with lawmakers to change the federal and provincial labour codes, as well as building codes to put free menstrual supplies in all restrooms.
Sign the petition to make period products free and accessible in all workplaces!
70% of menstruators have missed work, school or social activities because of their period
One-third of all Canadian women under the age of 25 experienced “period poverty” meaning they either struggle to afford menstrual products or can’t access them at all (this includes menstruators with full time steady jobs)
access and affordability of period products vary very widely between urban and rural areas of the country. (A box of pads can cost up to $25 dollars in some areas)
Help lawmakers understand how important free and accessible period products are for menstruators.