After 20 years as a teacher and school principal, Jan Tinetti knows the damage period poverty can do to young girls and women seeking to build a better life. Children as young as six would miss a week of school each month due to a lack of products to support their monthly cycle. When she became Minister for Women in the New Zealand Parliament, Jan partnered with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in launching an Access to Period Products pilot program in 2020 to provide free products to schools.
In the latest episode of the Make Meaning Podcast, The Hon. Jan Tinetti speaks with host Lynne Golodner about the 2021 nationwide rollout of an effort to provide free period products to all New Zealand schools. This joins other efforts to eliminate child poverty, including a universal healthy lunch program, free breakfasts, milk and fresh fruit in schools, social workers, and more. “We want to focus on making New Zealand the best country in the world to be a child,” she says in the episode.