Share the Dignity and Making a Difference
At Ccentric, one of our core values is making a difference. We take pride in giving back to the community and believe in supporting good causes. In March we are participating in a donation drive for a Not-For-Profit charity, Share the Dignity. They collect both monetary and sanitary product donations to women who cannot afford items such as pads, tampons, period underwear, incontinence pads, menstrual cups.
Since being founded in March 2015 by Rochelle Courtenay, Share the Dignity has been able to donate 2.8 million period products across Australia to those in need through our Dignity Drives and #ItsInTheBag campaign. This has helped those doing it tough, women experiencing homelessness, fleeing domestic violence, and those living in crisis.
About the Dignity Drive
Share The Dignity holds their Dignity Drive twice a year, in March and August, and asks the public to donate sanitary products such as pads, tampons, and period underwear. As a result of their collaboration with Woolworths, they have collection points in all of their stores for the month of March, as well as a variety of other businesses. These donated sanitary items are then distributed to women in need.
Ending the shame and stigma
Period stigma exists. Despite the fact that every woman has a period, it is still one of the most taboo and risqué topics of conversation. Access to period products is a basic human right and not be a luxury. When someone is going through a rough patch, this should be the latest thing on their mind. saying periods should not be a barrier to education or cause shame, and menstrual products should be accessible and affordable.
Despite the fact that it affects 50% of the population. A study by Libra in 2019 found that three out of every four Australian women believe there is a stigma attached to having a period, with periods being considered more taboo than drugs, sex, STDs, and mental health.¹
After a successful trial in Countdown NZ, Woolworths Australia has taken the first step in helping remove the stigma to its feminine hygiene section by rebranding it from ‘personal care’ to ‘period care’. Relabelling of these isles in the supermarket will help reduce the stigma for many young women growing up. Since 2019, Woolworths has partnered with Share The Dignity and provided various drop-off point for their Dignity Drive during the month of March, which has helped raise $1.8 million.²
Isobel Marshall, the Young Australian of the Year, has helped to bring awareness to period poverty and have a conversation around it on a national level. She has advocated that periods should not be a barrier to education or cause shame, and menstrual products should be accessible and affordable. To help reduce the burden for young girls at school, below is some of the work being done.³
- Victoria: In 2020, Victoria became Australia’s first state to legally mandate free period products in all government schools.
- South Australia: From 2021, every public school will provide free pads and tampons.
- New South Wales: From this year, the NSW Department of Education will trial a program to hand out free pads and tampons to address period poverty in schools.
What you can do to help
- Stigma: Fear of stigmatisation along with limited access to menstrual hygiene negatively affects girls and women’s mental health
- Workplace: Better workplace policies inclusive of menstruating and menopause women
- Education: Increased access to information and education to help create a conversation and remove the stigma and taboo surrounding menstruation
- Sustainability: Support sustainable sanitary products i.e. period-proof underwear, briefs and maternity wear
- Donate: Help someone in need and donate at all Woolworths stores nationwide and various drop-off point during the month of March
To find out how you can help out and for more information about this good cause, visit the Share the Dignity website
- Libra #bloodnormal ad leaves 600 complainants “shocked and appalled”, Ad Standards dismisses case. (2019, September 20). Marketing Magazine. https://www.marketingmag.com.au/news-c/libra-bloodnormal-ad-leaves-600-complainants-shocked-and-appalled-ad-standards-dismisses-case/
- Mourad, S. (2021, February 25). Woolworths announces change to feminine hygiene aisle. Daily Mail Online. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9297803/Woolworths-announces-change-feminine-hygiene-aisle.html
- Baker, J. L. C. (2021, March 3). NSW to trial free tampons and sanitary pads in public schools. The Sydney Morning Herald. https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/nsw-to-trial-free-tampons-and-sanitary-pads-in-public-schools-20210303-p577d7.html
- Drives and Collections. (2021). Share the Dignity. https://www.sharethedignity.org.au/get-involved/drives-and-collections