Despite around half of the world’s population being born female, period poverty and period shame is still incredibly widespread, and Aotearoa sadly is no different.
According to globalwomen.org.nz over 90,000 kiwi girls are missing school during their periods, as a result of inadequate access to sanitary products. That’s 90,000 young women having to forgo their right to an education every month simply because period products are not readily available to those who require them. These shouldn’t be privileged or luxury items, they are not something that should be the deciding factor for someone choosing to go to school, to work, or for those wondering whether they have the funds to afford both tampons and food this week. While the government rolled out an initiative in 2021 that saw schools who opted-in to this programme provided with free period products, more progress still needs to be made to destigmatise menstruation and normalise free period products for all, not just those schools who are opting-in.
Here at the Haakaa Foundation, we are helping to combat period poverty in New Zealand by donating sanitary items to high schools around New Zealand – in the form of our reusable period cups and sanitary pads. These products are designed to be easy-care and, when maintained properly, should last many periods – reducing both environmental waste and money spent on sanitary items every month.
We look forward to supporting more communities in Aotearoa – if there is a school or facility you know of that would benefit from donated period products, please contact us here.
For now, here are just some of the wonderful wāhine we have distributed these products to:
“Over 90,000 kiwi girls are missing school during their periods, as a result of inadequate access to sanitary products.”