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16 May 2022

Free period products to be rolled out in further education and training sector

Simon Harris defends fellow Fine Gael TD Simon Coveney over Zappone controversy

Simon Harris, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science

A NEW government programme will roll out free period products in the further education and training sector. 

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD and Minister of State for Skills and Further Education Niall Collins TD made the announcement on International Women's Day. 

The programme commits to provide a range of free, adequate, safe, and suitable period products in all educational publicly-funded settings, including schools and third level colleges, to ensure that no students are disadvantaged in their education by period poverty.

Nine colleges across six Education and Training Boards will be involved in this pilot initiative, which will see free, sustainable period products and dispensers for students.

Speaking today, Minister Harris said: "The provision of free period products is a really important initiative. It seeks to ensure no students are disadvantaged in their education by period poverty.

"We have worked with our higher education partners to provide these products and today, we are taking another step forward by extending this important project to the further education and training sector.

"This will be a really important tool in helping to address need, but also with a view to ending gender inequity and reducing stigma."

Director of Further Education and Training at ETBI, Dr Fiona Maloney, said: "ETBI is delighted to launch the ‘Worryfree’ campaign today – on International Women’s Day 2022.

"We know that period poverty is a problem in Ireland and this campaign will help ensure learners can focus on their education and training programmes without having to worry about the cost of period products.

"We hope to see this pilot scheme prove successful and for the ‘Worryfree’ campaign to become a permanent fixture in every ETB in Ireland."

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