Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Govt recommits to free period products in schools

The Coalition Government has committed $2.9 million to ensure intermediate and secondary schools continue providing period products to those who need them, Minister of Education Erica Stanford announced today.

“This is an issue of dignity and ensuring young women don’t have to miss out on school because of something as simple as having access to period products,” the Minister said.

“The University of Otago has estimated that up to 95,000 young New Zealand women could be missing school because of a lack of access to period products.

“Young women deserve equal opportunities in education, which is why continuing this initiative is so important.

“All intermediate, kura and secondary schools will continue to be able opt-in to the scheme, which will continue to benefit around 200,000 students,” she said.

Acting Minister for Women, Louise Upston, says the news was a positive step in addressing period poverty.

“A lack of access to period products can be extremely stressful, disruptive and can impact students’ confidence while learning.”

“For too long, periods have not been discussed openly. It’s important conversations around our bodies are normalised, and part of this means ensuring young women can access the products they need, without feeling embarrassed,” Ms Upston says.

Funding of $2.9 million is from within Ministry of Education baselines and provides certainty to schools and the young women who rely on the products being available.

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