Free menstrual hygiene products for public schools

A $30 million program to place pads and tampons in schools will ensure young women’s education is not be impacted by their period.

A row of desks with the government logo superimposed on the image. A row of desks with the government logo superimposed on the image.

Female students at public schools across the state will soon have free access to menstrual hygiene products, following a successful trial in 31 schools.

The $30 million program will make sure female students can participate in all aspects of school life.

Ahead of International Women’s Day, Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell said this was an important milestone for female students.

“Getting your period should not be a barrier to education,” Ms Mitchell said.

“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.”

The program builds on a pilot at 31 pilot schools in South Western Sydney and the Dubbo region.

“We have seen through the pilot program that providing sanitary items has a positive impact on educational engagement and attainment,” Ms Mitchell said.

Minister for Women Bronnie Taylor said the statewide rollout was what many young women had been calling for.

“This great initiative is about ensuring our young women have the support they need, with dignity and without barriers, as they continue their education journey,” Mrs Taylor said.

“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.”

The Department of Education will work with each school to discuss options for the location of the dispensers and facilitate installation through external contractors.

The program is expected to be rolled out to every school by 30 June 2022.

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