Periods are a fact of life for half the population. Despite this, young people don’t always have access to the products they need to feel comfortable at school, engage in their learning, and manage what should be a normal and healthy part of life.
Poor access to period products can affect students’ attendance and engagement at school. Students also miss out on sporting and cultural activities and can feel embarrassed and ashamed about not being supported to manage their periods. This affects their achievement and wellbeing.
Access to period products is a necessity, not a luxury. The need to access products exists for every young person who experiences menstruation including young women, girls, transgender, and gender diverse youth, in ways that meet diverse needs and cultural perspectives.
We also know that some families and whānau will be facing increased financial stress as a result of the economic impact of COVID-19. This initiative is also one of a range of approaches to mitigate the impacts of socioeconomic disadvantage and to reduce child poverty.
From June 2021, Paraparaumu College opted-in to the initiative and received a variety of packs of pads and tampons which have been available from the college office. These products are easy to use and appropriate for a broad range of students’ age, developmental, and cultural needs in the schooling context. Enough product is provided so that students can effectively manage their whole menstrual cycle and take product home to avoid being caught without.
Phase two has begun with installing dispensers and baskets at college and this is occurring on Friday 10 June at the following locations and the main office:
- Cultural Centre
- A Block
- C/D Block
- Deans’ office
Nominated student council reps will ensure these are kept stocked so students can access products discreetly.