On Sunday I attended an event called Share the DigniTEA. It was a fundraiser for Share the Dignity an Australian Charity devoted to providing sanitary items for homeless women and women in need.
In Australia thousands of women, every night are homeless or are in safe houses or shelters. Often when they are in their menstrual cycle they are faced with an awful choice, to buy sanitary items or to buy food.
The motto of Share the Dignity is:
“We believe that sanitary items should be a right NOT a privilege”
This is such a clear and compelling message.
When I was working in the YWCA Darwin, at the time the biggest provider of supported accommodation for youths and women, it was also a budgeting issue, with the cost of sanitary items being a significant line item.
Women have periods. It is not a matter of choice. Neither should it be considered a matter of choice. Like basic food items, sanitary products should be exempt from GST and other taxes.
It’s upsetting to hear how women who cannot afford the hygiene products have to resort to using rolled up toilet paper and hand towels, how they have to use public bathrooms to clean up.
As a woman, I can imagine the embarrassment that they must feel, but they shouldn’t have to. Every woman should be able to have access to the hygiene products they need for ‘that time of month’.
Share the Dignity is working towards being able to provide accessibility to these products for all women in Australia, whether they are homeless or seeking shelter. The ultimate goal for them is to launch #pinkbox Period Pad Dispensers across Australia, it’s a noble goal and one I’m happy to support.
I applaud the founders of Share the Dignity and urge everyone to support their various activities including #dignitydrive #itsinthebag #Yoga4Dignity #istandup
Every woman has the right to dignity.