In a big win for women’s health, the Victorian state government in Australia has announced that it will offer free menstrual products in all public schools. The initiative is a first for Australia and will make tampons and pads available across all 1,500 government schools.
The initiative aims to improve inclusivity, eliminate health cost barriers for low income families, and reduce education barriers for female students. For students who struggle to afford menstrual products, periods can prevent them from fully engaging in their education. Making these products available cost-free equalizes access for all students and also de-stigmatizes menstrual health.
In addition to menstrual products, students will also receive health information on how to safely and effectively manage their periods.
This announcement follows the Australian government’s decision to remove the tax on all menstrual products in 2019, recognizing that these products are a health necessity, not a luxury. Lets hope other governments follow Victoria’s lead!