From June, students will benefit from free menstrual products at all schools in New Zealand, according to the news agency Reuters and New Zealand media Thursday. Students sometimes did not go to school because they could not afford to buy tampons and pads.
New Zealand had already announced last year the fight against so-called menstrual poverty. A trial in which the products were distributed to fifteen schools was considered very successful. The rest of the schools would follow this year, although the exact date of implementation is not yet known.
According to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, nearly 95,000 students aged nine to eighteen sometimes stay at home because they cannot buy the right products during their period. “By making the products free, they can continue to go to school,” the prime minister said earlier.
The welfare of New Zealand’s children is also improved, Ardern said Thursday. “Young people should not miss their education because of something quite normal for half of the population,” the prime minister said.
The New Zealand government is making some $ 18 million (around € 15 million) available to make the products available free in schools. Steps towards free menstrual products have also been taken in England, while Scotland has already made feminine hygiene products available free of charge in some public places.
In 2019, the development organization Plan International and the feminist platform De Bovengrondse published a study in which it was stated that 9% of Dutch girls and women aged 12 to 25 sometimes have too little money to buy tampons. or sanitary napkins.
Every day, 800 million girls and women around the world have their period.