- Prime Minister Jacinta Ardern has announced that sanitary products will soon be available or free in all schools across New Zealand.
- The program, which will cost around $18 million, aims to address period poverty.
- According to reports, students from low-income families sometimes miss school because they cannot afford to purchase sanitary products.
In a recent announcement, Prime Minister Jacina Ardern has declared that all schools in New Zealand will soon be providing free sanitary products for students.
Apparently, this is the country’s response to the successful pilot program conducted across 15 different schools last year and this aims to address poverty, increase attendance in school, and promote the well-being of children.
“Young people should not miss out on their education because of something that is a normal part of life for half the population. The positive response from schools and students to the pilot has encouraged us to expand the initiative to all New Zealand schools and kura.”
The 40-year-old prime minister likewise shared that 1 out of 12 students in New Zealand skip school because their family cannot afford to buy period products.
“We want to see improved engagement, learning and behavior, fewer young people missing school because of their period, and reduced financial hardship amongst families of participating students,” Ardern also remarked.
According to estimates, New Zealand will spend NZ$25 million (around US$18 million) from 2021 to 2024 to make the project happen.
“Students wanted information about periods, period products, and other practical elements of managing their period such as tracking and knowing when and who to reach out to for assistance,” added Minister of Women Jan Tinetti.
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Meanwhile, Diginity co-founder Miranda Hitchings said in an interview:
“It’s a fantastic investment from our government. However, this is just the beginning. Period poverty doesn’t just affect students. It’s a subset of poverty, and many other groups, like those experiencing homelessness and income loss, deeply feel the implications from a lack of access to products.”
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