Feb 18, 2021 - World

New Zealand schools to provide free period products

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield arrive at a press conference at Parliament on February 15, 2021 in Wellington, New Zealand.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health director-deneral Ashley Bloomfield arrive for a news conference at Parliament in Wellington, New Zealand, Monday. Photo: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

All New Zealand schools will from June provide students with access to free menstrual products following a successful trial, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Thursday.

Why it matters: It's the latest sign a global push to stamp out period poverty by providing menstrual products at no cost or tax-free is gaining momentum.

Driving the news: A 2020 report by the charity KidsCan found up to 20,000 Kiwi students struggled to afford period products.

  • There was concern that some students were avoiding attending class because they couldn't afford menstrual items.
  • "Young people should not miss out on their education because of something that is a normal part of life for half the population," Ardern said in a statement.
  • The schools scheme is expected to cost nearly US$18 million over three years.

Go deeper: Scotland becomes first nation to make period products free

Go deeper