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Share The Dignity: Ending Period Poverty for Good!

Share The Dignity: Ending Period Poverty for Good!

26th March 2021
By: Olivia - F&F

Access to period products is a right, NOT a privilege. This is the primary goal behind Share The Dignity; a charity focussed on ending period poverty in Australia. This national charity works to make a real, on the ground difference in the lives of those experiencing homelessness, fleeing domestic violence, or doing it tough. 

Have you ever forgotten your pad or tampon when heading out? It’s an uncomfortable experience, but the thought of never having access to a pad, tampon or menstrual cup has probably never crossed your mind — but it’s a daily struggle for many women across the world, even in Australia. 

Through Share The Dignity’s #PinkBox Dignity Vending Machines, women are able to access free menstrual products with dignity and safety. We think that’s pretty amazing! 

Let’s take a closer look at what period poverty is, how it affects the lives of Australian women, and what this wonderful charity is doing to end period poverty. 

What is period poverty?What is period poverty?

What is Period Poverty?

Not having access to menstrual products is a very real issue, with very real consequences. Period ‘poverty’ refers not only to the lack of access to sanitary products, but also to the lack of access to menstrual hygiene education, toilets, handwashing facilities, and waste management. 

It can also include the social and cultural stigma around menstruation, which actively stops women and girls partaking in normal daily activities (school and work). As you can imagine, missing out on these fundamental parts of life because of their cycle leads to feelings of shame, embarrassment and anger. 

Period poverty statsPeriod poverty stats
@redisthenewgreen_

Give Me The Stats

There aren’t many stats about period poverty in Australia, but a 2017 US study found that one in five American girls aged 16–24 have either left school early or missed school entirely because they did not have access to period products. Plus, a survey in the UK found that 137,700 girls missed school in 2017 because they couldn’t afford sanitary items.

Share The Dignity Share The Dignity

Share The Dignity

This is where the Australian charity steps in to help. Share The Dignity, founded in 2015 by Rochelle Courtenay, conducts two Dignity Drives each year, plus the It's In The Bag campaign, and events such as DigniTea and Move 4 Dignity

So far, the charity has donated 2.8 million pads and tampons, and 4,877 menstrual cups to Aussie women in need — and installed 207 #PinkBox Dignity Vending Machines across Australia. 

Period Product Vending MachinesPeriod Product Vending Machines

Where Can Period Product Vending Machines Be Found?

These period product vending machines are found in public toilets, charities, homeless hubs, domestic violence refuges, community centres, hospitals, Aboriginal health services and low socioeconomic schools. Share The Dignity have carefully chosen each location to help the women who need it most. Click here to find out more about the #PinkBox campaign and how you can help.  

Share The Dignity - Donation DrivesShare The Dignity - Donation Drives

Dignity Drives 

The Dignity Drives, which take place in March and August, is the perfect opportunity to get involved and help women in need. Share The Dignity accept donations of unopened period products, including pads, maternity pads, incontinence pads, new reusable pads, tampons, period-proof underwear and menstrual cups. 

You can donate your products at Woolworths, or find the countless other collection points here! 

Period TaxPeriod Tax
@handlettered.by.kajal

Tampon Tax

We also wanted to mention Share The Dignity’s role in axing the tampon tax in Australia! After being frustrated at the lack of action, Rochelle Courtenay decided to lobby for real parliamentary change — through the #axethetaxperiod hashtag, she gained over 100,000 signatures for her petition. Wow!

In 2018, the fight was finally over. The bill was successful and the tax was abolished by state and federal governments, and the $30 million a year tax on necessary menstrual products was gone!

 

We really wanted to shine a light on this wonderful organisation and tell you about the work that they do. There are so many ways to get involved with Share The Dignity. You can become a volunteer, donate period products through #ItsInTheBag campaign, host a DigniTea or get moving with Move4Dignity.

Let’s end period poverty for good. 

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