AWWA was created with a passionate commitment to fighting Period Poverty in New Zealand. Not only is Period Poverty a huge personal burden, but it has a direct impact on both Child Poverty and Gender Inequality amongst our most vulnerable.
We’ve taken our belief that all New Zealand schoolgirls should have access to free, reusable period products to Parliament with meetings with Ministers and a petition with the Positive Periods group, and we’ve donated period underwear to lots of great schools and charities.
Now, we’re taking our single biggest direct action yet!
With our Brand Ambassador and Captain of the Silver Ferns, Ameliaranne Ekenasio, we’re donating 1000 pairs of AWWA period underwear to Dignity, who will give them to schoolgirls in need, across Aotearoa.
In the face of strong advocacy and political campaigning, and Period Poverty rates strikingly similar to New Zealand’s, the UK, Wales, Scotland and British Columbia now provide free sanitary care in schools. A Scottish bill which would legislate providing tampons and pads free to anyone who needs them has passed its first reading unanimously, and BC axed taxes on period products in 2015.
We would love to see NZ join these countries with a model of free period products for all students. Free sanitary products for schoolgirls is impossible to argue against – and providing free reusable, waste free period products that are kind to the planet makes even more sense! We know that the cost of period products is causing girls to miss school, damaging their chances of a great career, and creating health risks as they use other items to manage their periods or use products for too long.
Otago University reports that primary school girls just 8 years old are getting their periods, and 6% menstruate before college, so very young girls are being impacted.
It’s not okay.
Last year 72% of New Zealand schools said they believed that having free period products available would help their students stay in school when they had their period.
Providing the period products schoolgirls need is a simple way to invest in their futures.