26 September 2023

Students to line up for free hygiene products

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NSW students are to have access to free menstrual hygiene products with the Department of Education installing thousands of dispensers into public schools.

Announced by the Minister for Education and Early Learning, Sarah Mitchell, the initiative has seen more than 4,600 dispensers installed in schools across the State to support young women to overcome barriers in accessing menstrual hygiene products.

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

“I want our young women to feel comfortable in knowing they have access to free sanitary products when they need, in their school,” she said.

“Evidence shows that providing sanitary items has a very positive impact on educational engagement and attainment, so we know this program is going to make a huge difference for our students’ education.”

Ms Mitchell said the State was also supporting delivery of the Periods, Pain and Endometriosis Program (PPEP-Talk), developed by the Pelvic Pain Foundation of Australia and co-funded by the Australian Government.

She said the age-appropriate program would be delivered at select public schools to help students, parents and schools understand endometriosis and pelvic pain and early intervention strategies.

“These PPEP-Talks will allow for both male and female students to be able to discuss women’s health in a respectful way that reduces the stigma that can come around women’s health,” Ms Mitchell said.

Minister for Women, Bronnie Taylor said many young women had been calling for the support.

“This statewide rollout of period products, alongside the PPEP-Talk program, will ensure our young women have the support they need, with dignity and without barriers, as they continue their education journey,” Ms Taylor said.

“By openly discussing periods, endometriosis and reproductive health we are removing the taboo around women’s health issues.”

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