Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern declared on Thursday that all New Zealand schools would have free access to sanitary products. This amazing action will take place from June onwards, and it is an effort aimed at stamping out the country’s time of poverty.
The announcement is not absolutely new. It follows a popular pilot program launched in the middle of last year that provided around 3,200 young people in 15 schools with free-period items.
All schools in New Zealand will offer free sanitary products to students starting in June, officials said. The initiative, which aims to combat period poverty, expands on a pilot program launched last year. https://t.co/jPQnnLE0db
— NPR (@NPR) February 19, 2021
One way the government can directly counter poverty, help improve school attendance, and have a positive effect on children’s well-being is to offer free period items at school, says prime minister Jacinda Ardern.
Speaking to reporters later in the day, Ardern said research found that because of this problem, one in 12 young people missed school. She said the cost of the program would be NZ$25 million ($17.96 million) by 2024.
Last November, Scotland became the first country in the world to give out free sanitary items to literally anyone who needs them, even in public places.
Free period supplies were rolled out last year in both primary and secondary schools in England. A few of the US states have also passed legislation requiring that supplies for free periods must be offered in schools.
Ardern is the youngest female prime minister and she came to power in the year 2017. Ever since then she has been seen as a global icon and a women’s rights champion. In October, she swept the elections, winning a second term in office on the basis of the success of her government in containing the spread of the coronavirus.
While in office in 2018, her pregnancy and maternity leave were hailed as symbolizing progress for female leaders. She made headlines around the world when she took her 3-month-old daughter alongside her while attending the UN General Assembly in New York.