NPR: New Zealand will provide free health products in schools to fight poverty


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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced pictured Wednesday, Thursday that schools in the country will offer free products for the time period starting later this year.

Hagen Hopkins / Getty Images


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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced pictured Wednesday, Thursday that schools in the country will offer free products for the time period starting later this year.

Hagen Hopkins / Getty Images

Officials said Thursday that all schools in New Zealand will offer free health products to students starting in June. The initiative aimed at combating Poverty period, Is expanding into a pilot program that was launched last year.

In their AdvertisingPrime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Assistant Education Minister Jan Tenetti said the program is open to all elementary, middle, and high school levels and in which, Or Maori immersion schools. Arden said providing free period products in schools is one of the ways for the government to help tackle poverty, increase enrollment, and support student welfare.

“Young people should not miss out on their education because of something that is a normal part of the life of half the population,” she said. “Removing barriers to achieving healthy and active educational outcomes for children and youth is an important part of the government’s youth and well-being strategy.”

The Ministry of Education will work with suppliers to initiate a rollover of the program, with period products available from June to schools choosing to sign up by March. Officials said that those who will not have the opportunity to join at a later time. The pledge will It said It has cost the New Zealand government about $ 18 million through 2024.

The free-of-charge products have been available to nearly 3,200 students since the middle of last year, as part of a pilot program of 15 schools in the Waikato district. Officials said positive feedback from participating schools and students encouraged them to expand the program.

“Feedback from the pilot indicated that providing choice was important, both in product types and in how they were accessed,” said Tenetti. “Students also said they want information about periods, period products, and other practical elements of managing the period such as tracking and knowing when and by whom to reach for help.”

She added that the problems of studying periods in school include embarrassment, stigma, missing classes, cost, discomfort and lack of knowledge.

Poverty period is a widespread problem in New Zealand and beyond, and it was Exacerbation Coronavirus pandemic.

2020 Transfer By the KidsCan charity, it is said that up to 20,000 students in primary, middle and high schools in New Zealand are having difficulty accessing period products due to financial and social restrictions. Based on the research, Ardern said On Thursday, one in 12 young people missed school as a result

Several other countries have taken steps to meet this need. Scotland History was introduced In November 2020, when it became the first country to offer period products for free, a move that came two years after the products began rolling out in schools and higher education institutions for the first time.

In January, Britain launched a program to provide free products during the study period in all public schools and colleges, which officials said was extended “until 2021”. And last month, the country exclusion The so-called “reimbursement tax” on health products, which was previously classified as non-essential.

Most of the states of America No Menstrual products are currently exempt from sales tax, despite many of them he moved To change that in recent years.


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