The ACT has passed a law to ensure free period products are provided at designated and accessible places across the capital. It’s the first time free period products have been enshrined in law in Australia.
Schools, libraries, university campuses and health centres are some of the places that will need to offer free period products. These could include tampons, pads, menstrual cups, and period underwear.
The law is aimed at reducing and preventing period poverty.
Free periods products in the ACT
The legislation was passed by the ACT’s single house of Parliament on Wednesday, after it was initially tabled in August.
As well as mandating free period products in some locations, it also requires that information on menstrual hygiene is made available.
Workplaces in the ACT public sector or in territory-funded businesses will also need to provide access to free period products.
Period poverty is when a person cannot access essential resources needed for their period. This could be due to financial, physical, or cultural factors.
According to a survey by Share the Dignity, about 15% of people who menstruate in the ACT have experienced period poverty at some point.
The laws are set to come into effect by December at the latest.