New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announce that all schools in the country will offer free sanitary products by June.
The country ran a pilot program across 15 schools last year, and the pilot was a huge success! Ardern said that the initiative will aim to address poverty, increase school attendance, and make a positive impact on the children’s wellbeing.
This is what she said in her announcement:
“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.
According to some estimates, the programme will cost New Zealand approximately $15 to provide free products from 2021 to 2024. According to Ardern, one in 12 young people in New Zealand currently miss school because of period poverty, which is a term used for families and individuals from low-income backgrounds that cannot afford period products.
She said that they want to see improved engagement, learning, and behavior, and fewer young people missing school because of their period.
Based on the research from the pilot program, there are other issues surrounding periods at school, such as embarrassment, stigma, discomfort, etc, which also exacerbate the problem.
Scotland became the first country in the world to offer free sanitary products for anyone who needs them in November 2020, and New Zealand is only the second country in the world to do so!