A group of four Taranaki students have made a kit aimed at taking away period stigma

Thursday 19 September 

A group of high school students have founded a boutique business with the aim of taking some of the awkwardness out of a woman's first period.  

Girls of Steel, created by four year 13 students from Taranaki Diocesan School for Girls in Stratford, as part of the Young Enterprise Scheme, sell packages filled with information, sanitary pads, and tampons.

Each package also includes a chocolate bar and handmade wheat bag to soften the blow and make that time of the month a little easier. 

"Last year we made stainless steel drink bottles with empowering messages with the goal of empowering girls and this year we wanted to do something that more directly helped people," 17-year-old Alex Paish said. 

"It's got everything I would have wanted to know when I first got my period. It can be quite awkward to talk about with your parents so if you've got it all in one place it's easier."

Nearly 50 per cent of New Zealand girls will have their first period before they begin secondary school, and 6.3 per cent while they are still at primary school, a recent New Zealand Medical Journal study found. 

The group also wanted to focus around period poverty and target those who cannot afford sanitary products. 

"People need them but they are priced as a luxury item," Rebecca Schrader said. 

Their packs sells for $25 and for every two sold they donate a pack of sanitary pads to Women's Refuge.

Girls of Steel have taken their product to the Stratford Farmers Market, and will also take them to the Seaside Market in New Plymouth, Maia Rupapera-Maeke said. 

They have already had an order of 40 packs, which the buyer planned to donate to four schools in New Plymouth.

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