2 Easy Things You Can Do to Support Period Poverty This Menstrual Hygiene Day
I’m a few days away from my period. I can always tell because my boobs start to feel sore and heavy, and I get hormonal tension headaches. I ducked down to my local chemist to pick up all the supplies I’ll need: a packet of pads, some anti inflammatory medication, ginger tablets (for the nausea) and then, I made sure my period undies are ready to go.
But many people with periods don’t have the luxury of being able to stock up on what they need to go through, and with Menstrual Hygiene Day on May 28, it’s time to remind ourselves what we can do to help.
According to Share the Dignity’s Bloody Big Survey, 40% of 125,205 participants had changed to a less suitable period product due to cost, while 49% wore a tampon or pad for more than 4 hours because they didn’t have any more to use.
Period poverty is a prevalent issue among menstruating people living below the poverty line in Australia. In other words, there are a lot of people who can’t afford clean period products each month and therefore, don’t get to experience menstrual hygiene.
“No one should have to choose between feeding their family or buying period products, but that is the sad reality for so many Australians who live below the poverty line or who are fleeing domestic violence,” says Rochelle Courtenay, Share the Dignity Founder and Managing Director.
“The work we do at Share the Dignity is trying to ensure that no one has to make that decision because period products should be a right, not a privilege.
“I have heard stories from people who have had to use a sock they found at a laundromat, wadded up toilet paper from a public toilet or newspaper to manage their period. No one should have to go through the anxiety of not knowing how they are going to manage their next period.”
2 Easy Ways You Can Help
Support the Indigenous Menstrual Health Program
Share the Dignity is currently in the midst of its Indigenous Menstrual Health program and partnership with Libra, having just delivered its 100th pallet of period products to Indigenous communities all over Australia.
Since the program started in June 2021, the charity estimates that 100,000 period products have been delivered, thanks to donations from Libra and support from freight partner Cope Sensitive Freight.
You can support this incredible initiative and help Share the Dignity reach more Indigenous communities by donating to the charity’s bi-annual Dignity Drives in March and August each year, or purchase a virtual pack of pads — for only $5 — to be donated via their website here.
Help Keep the Dignity Vending Machines Running
The Dignity Vending Machine is a world-first innovation that dispenses a free period pack, known as a #PinkBox, with six tampons and two pads at the push of a button.
With currently 61 machines and expired funding, Share the Dignity need your support to help keep the Dignity Vending Machines running and fully-stocked, so that no one has to miss out on menstrual hygiene.