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Green Member of Parliament Golriz Ghahraman calls for the consequences of period poverty to be treated as a human rights issue and for a response from the government to the issue.

Mrs Ghahraman said that the period of poverty is "something we can not ignore, both from the point of view of human rights and as a bottom-line".

TVNZ reported earlier that some families kept girls from school because they could not pay for sanitary products, while others used newspapers or cardboard instead.

"We can see it, it eventually leads to discrimination, especially for young women to get access to their education, which is a human right. I think the government should come to the table."

She said that "every woman" would be aware of the limitations of menstruation without available hygienic products.

Dr. Jackie Blue, human rights commission, told 1 NEWS women that they should not be faced with avoidable obstacles and would be worried "if young women miss school because of a lack of access to hygiene products".

"We must ensure that women, especially socially disadvantaged, are given every opportunity to receive a good education and fully participate in society."

Julie Chapman, CEO of KidsCan, said in July that feedback from school nurses and clients revealed the lack of access to feminine hygiene products due to high costs. Some girls take the contraceptive pill to stop their bleeding.

Julie Chapman of the youth charity organization said many Kiwi students "micromanaging" their periods without access to hygienic products.
Source: 1 NEWS

"Now that is shocking for me, we are aware of this problem, we started placing sanitary articles in schools about five years ago, but we have seen that it is getting worse," she said.

Ms. Ghaharman said it would be "cheaper and much more effective in the long run" for the government to provide hygienic products to those who can not afford it in health care, rather than "leaving it to individuals to suffer alone." ".

In April 2017, Pharmac rejected an application from a private individual to reduce the costs of tampons and sanitary towels.

"We believe that this application does not fall within the scope of Pharmac, because it does not relate to therapeutic benefits related to a health need," said Pharmac & corporate director Sarah Fitt in a statement.

Dr. However, Sarah Donovan of Otago University submitted another application to Pharmac about the matter.

Dr. Lucy Telfar-Barnard of the Otago Medical School said that anyone could ask Pharmac to finance a medicine or medical device.

She said that demonstrating the health needs of hygienic products is "particularly challenging" since little research has been done in New Zealand.

"The provision of menstrual products is already difficult for women in poverty, but there is an additional challenge for girls in school age because they have no control over household expenses, and may be ashamed to ask their parent (s) for products for menstruation products. to buy.

"Both because they know that their family has trouble paying bills and because of the general embarrassment to talk about menstruation."

Ms. Ghahraman said that New Zealand was in limbo about the impact of the period of poverty on women and the collection of data to convince the government "to actually finance this, because it costs us money".

In 2016, then TVNZ1 Seven Sharp reporter Kristin Hall investigated the issue of keeping girls from school because they could not afford sanitary products.

A budgetsupport service in Auckland told Ms. Hall in a few months that he was aware of 10 families who kept their daughters at home.

"There is a girl who is 16 years or older, at least one week in four, she stays at home because the family can not afford them," said Darryl Evans of the Mangere Budgeting Service in Auckland in 2016.

In March last year National & # 39; s Paula Bennett said that she was "absolutely shocked that there might be girls whose training is being held up because they are ashamed or do not have access to what they really need".

"I think there is a role to play in reducing costs for some girls who do not have fair access to the benefits for education and health that all New Zealanders should have."

In July, supermarket chain Countdown announced that it would lower the price of some female sanitary products to combat "period poverty" for low-income and underprivileged Kiwis.

But they warn that more needs to be done to combat the "period of poverty".
Source: 1 NEWS

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