New Zealand very successfully becoming the first nation to be coronavirus free has taken another step to help its government reach out to people for their help. An NZ $2.2 million budget was allocated to provide sanitary products in school without charges and the same is set to start from term three at around 15 Waikato schools. The particular step has been taken while keeping in mind the hardships and poverty masses face amid the ongoing crisis as COVID-19 is compelling families to choose between food and sanitary products thereby pushing themselves towards period poverty.
The NZ PM, Jacinda Ardern keeping the issues in view, decided to take a step that would lead the nation towards a state of betterment and development. It was reported that girls aged nearly between 13 to 17 stayed home from school because they could not afford pads or tampons to cope with their period and also that they admitted it was difficult to manage their days with socks, napkins, and other unsanitary items. The particular set of problems faced by the girl division is not just limited to New Zealand but has its arms wide across the globe thereby making it a rising global issue. The term used here is “Period Poverty” which is majorly affecting menstruating women whose access to education gets rendered a reason being, period products are unaffordable.
India too faces a similar scenario where women are impacted with period poverty. A recent 2018 report elucidated that nearly as many as 60% of adolescent girls in India skip schools during their menstruation days with unswerving anxiety about leakage and staining their uniforms. But most importantly, facing societal mockery on the same counts as a major reason. Prices making these sanitary products unaffordable for a strong mass of women population caused a huge deal of obstruction in seeking education or even work, owing to which the Indian government has therefore removed taxes from sanitary napkins.
Apart from all these cost-cutting measures being taken by the government, it is to be made clear among masses around the globe that menstruation is a fact for life and that people belonging to all genders should accept that access to menstrual hygiene products should not be considered a luxury but a necessity which is denied to the financially weaker sections of the society.