Jacinda Ardern promises to provide free period products to girls in New Zealand

After absolutely nailing her country's coronavirus response, Jacida Ardern us not resting on her laurels.

In an unrelated move, she announced yesterday that New Zealand will be providing free sanitary products (aka tampons, pads, menstrual cups, etc) to schools in an effort to tackle period poverty.

Ardern said in a statement that nearly 95,000 girls aged nine to 18 are believed to miss school during their periods because they can't afford the necessary products to manage them.

To address this, the government will spend NZ$2.6m (US$1.7m) on the scheme, which is due to begin in the third term of this year in schools in the region of Waikato.

New Zealand's minister for women Julie Anne Genter, said:

Menstruation is a fact of life for half the population and access to these products is a necessity, not a luxury.

It's beggars belief that this still needs to be said, but this is a global issue that a number of governments have failed to act on.

The New Zealand move is part of an initiative to address child poverty as a whole, and the government has been praised for not ignoring this crucial piece of the puzzle.

Ardern said:

Our plan to halve child poverty in 10 years is making a difference but there is more to do and with families hit hard by the Covid-19 global pandemic, it's important to increase that support in the areas it can make an immediate difference

England and Scotland have both introduced similar initiatives.

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