The Pink Project gets Mayor's Award at Chamber of Commerce event

By Pepper Parr

May 25th, 2023


Recipients of the Mayors Award for their Pink Project: Olivia Netto, centre, and Iman Nemar with Mayor Marianne Meed Ward.


Earlier this week the Burlington Chamber of Commerce presented the Mayor’s Award to Olivia Netto and Iman Nemar for their Pink Project that put menstrual products in city washrooms and as well as high school washrooms.

The two women became friends in high school and launched The Pink Project Burlington in their senior year.

What began in the Burlington community has now spread beyond — The Pink Project has been able to successfully advocate for free period products being available now in Milton and Halton Hills as well. The duo say they live by their two-part mission statement: to deliver and to inform.

The Gazette interviewed the two women when they were getting ready to take their project to city council hoping that it would be taken on as a pilot project.

In our initial interview was asked the two women: How does change come about?   What makes people decide they want to change something that they think could be better.

Netto and Nemar were both students at Nelson high school out riding their bikes and a situation arose that had them talking about those occasions when you really need a product there is nothing at hand.

The product in this instance was feminine personal hygiene products – a taboo for many people and something that young men just don’t know all that much about and are not comfortable asking questions either.

But for Netto and Nemar it was a serious subject and they decided they wanted to try and bring about a change: Getting free mental products in as many public locations as possible.

“Over the course of the past few years, we’ve noticed a lack of accessibility to feminine hygiene products both within the community and at schools. Our mission is to create a donation-based drive to cater to those in need. At school, in the workplace and in Burlington”, said Inman.

Olivia Netto, on the left  and Inman Nemar were both students at Nelson high school.

They took the view that offering free menstrual hygiene products in public washrooms is now considered as essential to the community as offering toilet paper, soap and paper towels.

Their original focus was Burlington – given the success they have had – they have their eyes on the Region, then the province and – why not the whole country.

Earlier this week they were recipients of the Mayor’s Award. When the two women took their idea to city Council the Mayor was on board the moment she first heard about it. She has been a champion of the project from the Get Go. While the Mayor promoted the project it was the initiative from the two women that made it real.

Olivia is studying Industrial design at Carlton University and Inman is studying Life Sciences at McMaster.

Asked how they monitor the distribution and the take up Oliva said: “We have scouts out there.”

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