Pads and tampons can be a taboo topic but Victorian female students in primary, secondary and specialist government schools will soon have access to the sanitary items free of charge, thanks to a $20.7 million investment by the state government.
The initiative is an Australian first, hopefully reducing stress and embarrassment for girls and young women, whilst also lending families a hand financially.
Premier Daniel Andrews joined Minister for Education James Merlino and Minister for Women and Youth Gabrielle Williams today at The University High School in Parkville to announce the start of the rollout from this week.
“Victorian schools will be the first in Australia to give students free pads and tampons – because getting your period shouldn’t be a barrier to getting a great education,” Premier Daniel Andrews said.
The sanitary items will be available free of charge in school toilets, allowing students to access pads and tampons when they need them. The government also hopes that the decision will increase students’ participation in sport and everyday school activities.
“While getting your period is a normal part of life, for some young girls it can be a source of anxiety or embarrassment. This will help to reduce the stigma and make it easier for girls at school,” Minister for Women and Youth Gabrielle Williams said.
Asaleo Care has been granted the tender, manufacturing pads and tampons for over 40 years. Students will also receive health information about how to manage their periods as a part of the rollout
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