24 Jul 2018

Supermarket drops price of sanitary products

1:49 pm on 24 July 2018

Countdown supermarket has dropped the price of some sanitary products to help tackle period poverty.

Woman holding a tampon, blue background

Photo: 123RF / George Dolgikh

The supermarket chain has reduced the price of 15 Homebrand and Select pads, liners and tampons.

The company said it wanted to tackle period poverty in New Zealand.

"Too many women go without sanitary products themselves so they can provide essentials like food and rent for their family," Countdown spokesperson Kiri Hannifin said.

"Period poverty is a worldwide phenomenon and a reality here in New Zealand."

She said sanitary items were a necessity for all women, and should not be considered "inaccessible" because of the pricetag.

On average, the price reduction on pads and tampons could save women from $6 to $18 per year, depending on which products are used.

The Salvation Army and the supermarket chain launched a joint campaign in 2016, along with Labour MP Louisa Wall, to highlight the financial struggle women faced in order to take care of their menstrual health.

Since then, a community-led campaign in Northland aiming to lift women out of period poverty has distributed menstrual cups as an alternative product, and a Wellington high school has started receiving free sanitary products thanks to a social enterprise Dignity, as awareness of the issue has grown.

Ms Wall said today's price reduction made the products much more affordable but there would be pockets of the community who still could not afford them.

She said young women and girls are missing out on learning and sporting opportunities because they can't afford the products.