The NSW Government have just announced that tampons and pads will now be available for students to use in public schools across the state. The program is expected to be rolled out by the end of June.
The welcome move will seek to address period poverty in schools, an issue that young Australia of the Year Isobel Marshall pushed to be put on the national agenda.
Marshall co-founded TABOO with her friend Eloise Hall to help break down the stigma around menstruation and provide better access to pads/tampons.
NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell announced the new program on behalf of the government.
“Getting your period should not be a barrier to education,” Ms Mitchell said as per 9 News.
“This program is providing schools with dispensers, tampons and pads for free and is supporting young women’s health, engagement and attendance at school.”
“I want our young women to feel comfortable in knowing they have access to free sanitary products when they need.”
NSW Minister for Women Bronnie Taylor said that the new program “is about ensuring our young women have the support they need, with dignity and without barriers, as they continue their education journey,” as per 7News.
“By openly discussing periods, endometriosis and reproductive health we are removing the taboo around women’s health issues.”
“This announcement could not come at a better time, with the 2022 NSW Women’s Week kicking off [today]. This year’s celebration of women has a strong focus on providing better health outcomes for women across the State.”
It’s worth noting that women and girls aren’t the only people who require sanitary products.
The ABC has published a great article explaining the diverse range of folks who have a period.
If you’re keen to learn more you can read the article here.
The program is expected to cost $30 million but we reckon that’s deffo money well spent.
Last year, a pilot program was established in NSW across 31 schools which ended up being extremely successful.
In October of 2020, Victoria became the first state in Australia to make pads and tampons free across government schools.
In February of 2021, South Australia announced a similar initiative where they would provide free sanitary products for students above year 5 and above.
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