Today, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced that all Victorian Government schools will get free tampons and pads. Victoria will now be the first state or territory in Australia to roll this out. HUGE.
The new $20.7 million initiative will be rolled out across 1500 Government schools. They will be available in school bathrooms for easy access, and will eliminate those awkward toilet exchanges where you have to ask “does anyone have a spare pad?”
The Governments reasoning behind the decision is to remove the stigma around periods, and ensure young women get the most out of their education. It will also reduce the cost of living for families, saving them hundreds of dollars a year.
“We’re proud to be providing free sanitary items in all Victorian government schools to ensure that students – regardless of their background or circumstances – can focus and participate fully in their education,” said Victorian Minister for Education James Merlino.
Anyone with a period will know that having a surprise period at school is often mortifying and distracting. Having to shove toilet paper down there as a substitute for a pad is uncomfortable, and can put girls (or anyone with a period) on edge at school.
It’s also a problem for physical activity and sport, as girls may need to use more absorbent sanitary products, or a combination of pads and tampons for extra protection. If they haven’t packed correctly, they may have to sit out of physical activity altogether.
“Getting your period is a normal part of life and sanitary items are a basic necessity. We’re ensuring all girls in our public schools have access to pads and tampons when they need them, so they can focus on their studies,” said Victorian Minister Gabriella Williams.
Seeing sanitary products in school bathrooms may also remove the stigma around having a period. I remember my high school friends not using the word ‘period’ because they thought it was a dirty word. That ain’t right, period.
Alongside the rollout of sanitary products across schools, students will also receive important information about how to manage their periods.
The government is also supporting students’ mental health through the expansion of the School Breakfast Club program to 500 new schools. I believe that is the club where you get free breakfast…oh and physical activity.
How bloody good?
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