Topics: Health, Kawe Kōrero

Should sanitary products be free for female school students?

By Kawekōrero Reporters
  • Auckland

Kawe Kōrero Reporters is running a survey on Facebook about whether free sanitary health products should be available for Kiwi students.

The survey was prompted following the University of Otago's Sarah Donovan's call to improve access to sanitary hygiene items by removing the cost barrier.

Donovan spoke to Kawe Kōrero saying, "There's been a lot of media coverage and public interest in the past few years about the unaffordability of pads and tampons particularly for school girls and the issue of missing school, so I think we know there's a problem here and the fact that the Government is helping charities out to subsidise it at a school-to-school level means there's a broader problem here."

I would really like to see a more broad based approach of supporting young people rather than a piecemeal targeting low-decile schools"

Kelston Girls’ College, a decile 2 school in Auckland believe they have a solution: a fully-funded medical centre which offers a complete service to all students, irrespective of their family incomes.

Sanitary products are made available to all the young women at all times, removing stigma and cause for anxiety. They can see a GP without charge too.

Green Party spokesperson Jan Loggie says she wants to make sure all young women in schools never have to worry about not being able to afford these important life necessities. 

"What we are hearing now too many tragic stories about the unaffordability of these sanitary products and I want to address poverty, to make sure that is never a problem"

The fact that so many of our families aren't able to pay the bills and pay the rent and provides sanitary products and that's not okay. Girls are missing school because families can't afford these products."

The results of the Facebook poll will be announced and discussed tomorrow on Kawe Kōrero at 6pm on Te Reo.