How you can help vulnerable girls & women in hospitals & homeless shelters when they're in need of period products?

Caroline Laffer | 18 October, 2021

End period poverty and help girls and women in hospitals and homeless shelters

The devastating truth, is that menstruation and period topics are still considered taboo in some places of the world even now as we edge closer towards the end of 2021. Many women (of all ages!) are still anxious about even discussing periods with their friends and family, which means PERIODS can stay top of the list of taboo topics, unfortunately. 

Some cultures still require women to be isolated to a menstruation hut for up to two weeks during their period and after giving birth. Women are also not allowed to have physical contact with their spouse or male relatives because they consider menstruating women as 'impure' and 'polluted.' Yikes!

This is the reason why we we chose Share the Dignity Australia in its #ItsInTheBag, Dignity Drives and Pad Up Public Health campaigns to help those vulnerable women, those in hospitals, in homeless shelters, and those experiencing crises to get equal access to period products and restore their dignity. While what we read and hear about overseas can seem far removed from what we know over here, sadly, there's still a lot of difficulty around getting access to menstrual products and discussions on the topic.  

As Share the Dignity Australia famously state: "Access to period products is a right, not a privilege," so these teens and tweens (and their mothers!) need our help more than ever before.

The question is how?

Share the Dignity Australia started some advocacies and campaigns to help end period poverty. These campaigns aim to provide sanitary items to those women experiencing homelessness, those in hospitals, or those fleeing domestic violence. 

#ItsInTheBag

Share the Dignity Australia's annual event encourages Australians to put together and donate essential items inside a bag for someone in need in time for Christmas.

Last year, they donated 93,981 #ItsInTheBag donations to charities and women all over Australia.

If you're able to donate, the collection points for this year will be open to the public from 19th to 28th November at every Bunnings store across Australia.

Here's how (source: Share The Dignity):

  1. Find a new or a good condition bag (e.g. handbag, backpack or duffel)
  2. Fill the bag with essential items (listed here)
  3. You can add in some extra special additions or a handwritten note
  4. Take it to Bunnings for collection between 19-28 November
  5. Feel absolutely warm and fuzzy for making someone else's Christmas a little special

Dignity Drives

It's another campaign hosted by Share the Dignity Australia, twice a year (usually happens in March & August), to urge the public to donate period and sanitary products for women in need.

The items collected will then be distributed to registered charities across Australia. We have been supporting this drive by selling Kindness Socks on our website - all proceeds are donated to Share the Dignity Australia ongoing, until the end of October.

Dignity Drives for 2021 are now over, but you can still make donations (as we still are) by:

  • Mailing your donations to them (Share the Dignity, PO Box 345, Sandgate QLD 4017)
  •  Making an online donation (your $5 donation can already provide a pack of sanitary products)
  • Donating when you shop at Woolworths

Pad Up Public Health

Share the Dignity Australia saw the problem inside hospitals and homeless shelters in terms of period products supply. What they did to prove this is they asked women and girls to share their personal experiences. 

Having received lots of responses from women, they're able to come up with this campaign to call out and encourage State and Federal Health Ministers to introduce FREE menstrual products in all public hospitals.

You can help this campaign, just download the template letters from their website to send to your local MP and/or State Health Minister to provide for or give hope to those women in need.

These girls and women are already vulnerable, or recovering from a painful experience, which is why they need our support even more. By giving them free access to these sanitary items, we are lifting a little bit of weight on their shoulders. Be a blessing on other people's lives. Sprinkle kindness everywhere, and let your kids see you doing it. Who knows how that might inspire them throughout their lives?!