The NSW Nationals in the state government will trial free menstrual hygiene products for Dubbo students in a landmark pilot program.
NSW Nationals Education Minister Sarah Mitchell and Minister for Women Bronnie Taylor said the $100,000 trial will run at a number of schools for two terms.
“It’s important no female student feels like they can’t fully participate in all aspects of school life because they do not have access to menstrual hygiene products,” Ms Mitchell said.
“I want to make sure there are no barriers to education for female students just because they get periods.”
Dispensers will be provided with sanitary products at no cost to schools or students. The Department of Education will trial two types of dispensers, which will be placed in girls’ bathrooms.
Mrs Taylor it was something many young girls had been asking for.
“Providing sanitary products has the potential to positively impact educational engagement and attainment, whilst reducing shame and embarrassment,” she said.
NSW Nationals Member for Dubbo Dugald Saunders said “as a father of two daughters I know puberty is a difficult time in a young person’s life, and for girls that is exacerbated by the emotions that can be felt when menstruation commences.”
“Unfortunately, it’s a fact that ‘period poverty’ exists in Australia but with the development of healthy norms and practices in school, young girls can be supported and educated when it comes to the emotional and physical changes that occur,” Mr Saunders said.
The trial will be conducted in Terms 2 and 3 this year and may be rolled out state-wide if successful.