News & Media

New Zealand’s Period Justice is Ireland’s Opportunity

18 February 2021

Statement by Senator Rebecca Moynihan
Spokesperson on Housing, Local Government and Heritage

Labour Senator Rebecca Moynihan has praised the work of Labour comrade Jacinda Arden for providing free period products in every school in New Zealand. Reacting to the news, Senator Moynihan highlighted the opportunity Ireland has to pave the way for evening the playing field even more here in Ireland by passing Labour’s Period Products (Free Provisions) Bill which would make period products universally free in all public buildings.

Senator Moynihan said:

“It’s really impressive to see Prime Minister Arden take the lead on an issue that affects half the population. Providing period products in education settings is so important, but it’s just one step in solving a bigger problem. From my experience of introducing this at a City Council level, what we need in Ireland is universal provision of period products. We just expect toilet paper and soap in public bathrooms, and period products should be treated the exact same.

“By making it the law that period products should be easily accessible and free of charge in all public buildings, we can ensure universal access to these products and tackle the issue of period justice in a targeted manner.

“When there’s a will there’s a way, and it now looks like Government will progress its legislation on the matter, which is welcome, but needs to be amended to properly pave the way for period justice. The Bill published by the Labour Party would provide for universal access to period products in education settings and public buildings throughout the country. Taking a universal approach by investing in period justice will protect the most vulnerable in society and end the unnecessary stigma around periods in Ireland.

“The time for posturing on period justice is over. Feedback from my public consultation highlights that 60% of respondents have had increased difficulty in accessing period products due to Covid. There’s no reason why period products shouldn’t be the same as providing soap and toilet paper in our schools. Let’s not make this more difficult than it needs be. The New Zealand example shows us that all that’s required is political will. Government must progress legislation to provide period justice in a targeted and effective way in Ireland.”