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


Gordon Campbell: On Our Weird Ways Of Funding Care For The Dying


National Party leader Judith Collins thinks the government’s traffic light system for emerging from Covid lockdowns is “confusing.” Perhaps she could be looking in the mirror because in recent weeks, National has hardly been a model of crystalline clarity. On RNZ this morning Collins was calling for the scrapping of all vaccine certificates and mandates once we hit 90% double dose vaccination. Yet in recent weeks, Chris Bishop, National’s Covid spokesperson has been indicating that vaccine certificates and employment mandates will be, and should be, part of our new Covid landscape... More>>

Covid-19: Two Cases Notified In Christchurch Last Evening


The Ministry of Health was notified last evening of two positive COVID-19 cases in Christchurch from the same household. One member of the household had recently returned to Christchurch from Auckland. The local public health unit is gathering information from the cases to identify close contacts and exposure events, including any locations of interest... More>>





 
 


Government: Considers Regulatory Safeguards For Three Waters Services
Public feedback is being sought on the regulatory safeguards required to ensure consumers and communities receive three waters services that meet their needs, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister, Dr David Clark announced today... More>>


Three Waters: Government To Protect Vital Public Water Services For Future Generations
Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta today confirmed the Government will create four publicly owned water entities to ensure every New Zealander has access to affordable, long-lasting drinking, waste and storm water infrastructure... More>>

ALSO:



Government: Responds To Independent Review Into WorkSafe

The Government has clear expectations that WorkSafe must action the recommendations of the independent review into the regulator to improve its management of adventure activities following the tragedy at Whakaari White Island, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood says... More>>



Government: First Step In Managed Isolation Changes; Expanding QFT With Pacific

The Government is starting a phased easing of border restrictions that will see the time spent in an MIQ facility halved for fully vaccinated overseas arrivals from 14 November and home isolation introduced in the first quarter of 2022 at the latest, Chris Hipkins said today... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels