Free pads and tampons for people in remote First Nations communities

Department of Health

To help address period poverty and reduce cost-of-living pressure, the Australian Government will provide free pads and tampons to women and girls living in remote First Nations communities.

This initiative will help around 12,500 women and girls each year in these communities to access period products – including pads, tampons, menstrual cups and period underwear.

Period products can be almost double the price in some remote communities, with people paying $15-$25 on average for a packet of pads, compared to an average of $10-$15 in metropolitan areas.

This inequity means women and girls in remote First Nations communities are often forced to miss out on school, work, community events and social activities when they have their period.

The Australian Government will provide $12.5 million over 4 years to the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) to work with communities to distribute these vital health products.

The community-led program will ensure individuals can access the products in a way that works for each community.

Making these products more accessible and free will improve physical and mental health, boost education and employment outcomes, and create a ripple effect benefiting individuals, families and communities.

Quotes attributable to Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care Ged Kearney MP:

“Every woman and girl should be able to access pads or tampons no matter where they live.”

“No one should have to choose between paying for menstrual products instead of food, fuel or rent, and no one should have to miss out on daily activities because they have their period.

“Providing free menstrual products will help First Nations people who are finding it hard to access these essential products.”

Quotes attributable to Assistant Minister for Indigenous Australians and Assistant Minister for Indigenous Health, Senator the Hon Malarndirri McCarthy:

“We know people in remote communities are doing it tough with the high cost of living, and this program will help ease the pressure and improve access to menstrual products.

“Improving access to pads and tampons is important so that women and girls can fully participate in community life – in study, employment and social activities.

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