Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

KidsCan survey exposes extent of period poverty in NZ

Thursday November 1


Almost a quarter of New Zealand women who responded to a KidsCan survey have missed school or work because they have been unable to afford sanitary items.

The charity undertook the survey, thought to be the first of its kind in New Zealand, to understand the level of period poverty Kiwi girls and women are experiencing. The topic struck a chord, with more than 5,000 responses nationwide.

53.1% said they had found it difficult to access sanitary items due to cost at some point (8.6% frequently, 44.5% occasionally.)
23.6% said they had missed school or work due to a lack of access to sanitary wear.

One in three respondents said they had had to prioritise buying other items, like food, over sanitary items. When they couldn’t afford them, most (53.8%) resorted to toilet paper, but 7.7% had used rags, 3% old cloths and many mentioned using disposable or cloth nappies.

KidsCan is particularly concerned by what teenagers are reporting. 27% of the survey respondents were aged 15-17 years. In the under 17 age group:
7% were currently struggling frequently to afford sanitary items
29% said they had missed school or work due to having their period and lack of access to sanitary wear.

KidsCan’s CEO Julie Chapman said the results confirm concerns voiced by teachers and principals about the number of girls missing school when they have their period.

“As Kiwis we pride ourselves on leading the way in gender equality. But this is a huge, hidden barrier to that,” she said. “For girls in low income families, education is the best way out of hardship. But they’re being denied that chance because they can’t afford basic necessities like sanitary items.”



Overall, 6% of respondents said they were currently struggling to afford sanitary items. Of those:
84% had had to prioritise other items such as food over buying sanitary wear.
65% said they had missed school or work due to a lack of access to sanitary wear.

The stories shared by 1300 of the respondents included:

“Too expensive and often babies nappies and formula came first. Have used a disposable nappy more than once at night.”

“We had to use a pad for an entire day to make them last and not go out for fear of leakage.”

“Single mama. Bills to pay food to buy. Can only afford to buy when they are on special.”

“I have to sacrifice a day or two of food to be able to afford what many call ‘a female luxury’”

“It’s a luxury item for us, and our kids come first... I’ll just fold a length of loo paper”

“Condoms are given out like confetti but why not menstrual items?”

“When my daughter got her period I made sure she got pads and I had no money left when it was my turn.”

The Survey Monkey survey was inspired by the Free Period Scotland campaign, which ran a similar questionnaire, producing similar results. In August, in a world-first, Scotland announced all students would receive free sanitary items.

KidsCan supplies schools nationwide with sanitary items - as well as food, shoes and raincoats - to help remove any barriers to learning. This year the charity has supplied more than 16,000 boxes of tampons, pads and liners to hundreds of schools. Kiwis can sign up at www.kidscan.org.nz where $20 a month makes a world of difference.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Government Confirms Royal Commission of Inquiry:

Friday: National Remembrance Service

A National Remembrance Service for the victims of the Christchurch mosques terrorist attack, and all those affected by it, will be held at 10am on Friday 29 March, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced. More>>

Ban On Military Style Semi-Automatics And Assault Rifles
Military style semi-automatics and assault rifles will be banned in New Zealand under stronger new gun laws... Related parts used to convert these guns into MSSAs are also being banned, along with all high-capacity magazines. “An amnesty will be put in place for weapons to be handed in, and Cabinet has directed officials to develop a buyback scheme...All semi-automatic weapons used during the terrorist attack on Friday 15 March will be banned." More>>

SCOOP COVERAGE: CHRISTCHURCH MOSQUES TERROR ATTACK
For the Latest: Scoop Search - Christchurch
 

Gordon Campbell: On The School Climate Strike

Locally, the school strike has won a ton of support for bringing climate change to the fore. Yet the strikers don't want mere expressions of support. They want action. More>>

ALSO:

"Grabbed And Struck In The Face": Greens Co-Leader Attacked While Walking To Work

Green Party co-leader James Shaw was the victim of an unprovoked attack when he was walking to work in Wellington. More>>

ALSO:

████████ ████ ███: Latest OIA Statistics Released

The latest statistics cover 110 agencies that collectively completed 18,106 official information requests between July and December 2018, a 16.4% increase on the 15,551 requests for the previous six months. More>>

ALSO:

'Hit And Run' Inquiry: New Legal Action Over Secrecy

The lawyer representing the Afghan villagers in the inquiry into Operation Burnham has launched legal proceedings calling for a judicial review in the investigation. More>>

ALSO:

From Hydro Plan To...: Mokihinui River Land To Join Kahurangi National Park

A total of 64,400 hectares of conservation land in the Mokihinui River catchment on the West Coast north of Westport, including 15 km of riverbed, is being added to Kahurangi National Park. “Adding this area, roughly half the size of Auckland City, to Kahurangi is the largest addition of land to an existing national park in New Zealand’s history,” Eugenie Sage said. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels