Eradicating period poverty in our schools

28 May 2020

A campaign is currently underway to eradicate ‘period poverty’ in South Australian schools.

A petition driven by MLCs Irene Pnevmatikos and Connie Bonaros is urging the State Government to provide free menstrual hygiene products to high school students throughout the state.

“In late 2019, The Commissioner for Children and Young People released a report titled ‘Leave No One Behind’, highlighting the effects of period poverty on students in South Australia. The report emphasised the challenges young women and girls are confronted with at school when it comes to the affordability of sanitary products and the anxiety associated with menstrual hygiene management,’’. Ms Pnevmatikos and Ms Bonaros write.

“74% of schools surveyed in the report believed access to sanitary products was an issue for their students and 20% of schools reported that teachers are purchasing products for students out of their own money.’’

The two politicians have been working together to address period poverty through State Parliament. The  ‘Free Menstrual Hygiene Products Pilot Program Bill 2020’, which aims to ensure that students have access to menstrual hygiene products,  was recently passed in the Upper House and will soon be introduced in the Lower House.

“Periods don’t stop for pandemics. The lack of mobility due to self-isolation, panic buying and loss in income for families as a result of the coronavirus pandemic has created even more barriers to students who need access to these essential items,’’ Ms Pnevmatikos and Ms Bonaros write.

ANMF members are encouraged to support their campaign through the attached petition.

You can track the progress of the petition on the End Period Poverty Facebook page.