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  • Rikki Lambert

Girls' $30m sanitary support at school trial expanded

Dispensers for free tampons and pads will be installed in New South Wales' public schools to support students and decrease the stigma of women's health issues.

The statewide rollout, due to be completed by the end of June at a cost of $30 million, comes after a trial in 31 schools across southwest Sydney and Dubbo.

In January, 9 News reported a box of 18 tampons was selling online for $118 amid distribution shortages brought on by the pandemic and logistical challenges in Australia.

In November, year 7 girls at Murrumbidgee High School received free tampons amid a talk about women's health.

In September, consumer group CHOICE reviewed the emerging popular period underwear brands:

On Saturday, Minister for Women Bronnie Taylor said many young women had been calling for free access to sanitary products and claimed it will help remove stigma around women's health issues.

She said the program "is about ensuring our young women have the support they need, with dignity and without barriers, as they continue their education journey".

Education Minister Sarah Mitchell says the initial trial of the program has had positive effects on engagement in the classroom and "getting your period should not be a barrier to education":

"I want our young women to feel comfortable knowing they have access to free sanitary products when they need."

The education department will work through the locations of dispensers for the products with individual schools before external contractors install them.


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