New Zealand will offer free sanitary products in June at schools to help fight period poverty

As part of efforts to stamp out period poverty, all schools in New Zealand will offer free period products from June.

Authorities are concerned that some female students are skipping classes because they cannot afford products such as tampons and sanitary pads. So last year, a programme was launched in 15 schools to provide free sanitary products. After the success of this programme New Zealand will now offer free sanitary products in primary, intermediate and high schools.

PM Jacinda Ardern said: “Young people should not miss out on their education because of something that is a normal part of life for half the population.”

The scheme will cost the New Zealand government NZ$25 (£13m, $18m) from now to 2024. She said on Thursday that providing free period products was one way the government could address poverty, increase school attendance, and “make a positive impact on children’s wellbeing.”

Not only are New Zealand making this positive change, but Scotland became the first place in the world to offer sanitary products free for “anyone who needs them”, including at public places and in England, free period products were rolled out in all primary and secondary schools last year. Too add to this, US states have also passed laws mandating that free period products have to be provided in schools.

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