Schoolgirls in New Zealand will receive free sanitary products as part of their government’s effort to end period poverty.
Jacinda Adern, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, said that their government will be paying for necessary items such as sanitary pads and tampons in schools across the country, in its bid to support young people to continue learning at school.
Around 95,000 young girls that are aged between 9 and 18 years old are thought to stay at their house from school during their period time because they are unable to afford period products.
Period poverty is a very real issue, and it mostly affects women and girls that cannot afford or do not have access to safe and hygienic sanitary products.
Not only that, some cases include limited access, which leads to prolonged use of the same tampons or pads, which are known to cause infection.
In 2018, a One KidsCan survey found out that one of three women in New Zealand had to choose between buying food and sanitary products, with some respondents saying that they had to use toilet paper, rags, old clothes, and even diapers when they could not afford tampons or pads.
The government of New Zealand is investing $2.6 million in the initiative.
Free sanitary products initially are being made available in 15 schools in Waikato, a region of the upper North Island in New Zealand.
This will happen during term 3 of this year.
The initiative will be rolled out all over the country and state-integrated schools by the year 2021.
Our plan to halve child poverty in 10 years is making a difference but there is more to do, and with families hit hard by the COVID-19 global pandemic it’s important to increase that support in the areas it can make an immediate difference. This is another important initiative that sits alongside our work to reduce child poverty and hardship including the $5.5bn Families Package, free lunches in schools, cheaper visits to the doctors, stopping schools asking for donations, and lifting benefits.
Such a great law!