Share the Dignity

Did you know that on any given night in Australia 1 in 200 people are homeless?

44 per cent of these people are female and 27 per cent are children under the age of 18, with family violence being the number one reason they present to homeless services.

And while the male population of the homeless community is higher, there’s one recurring challenge that homeless women have to deal with on top of all their struggles– their period.

I was horrified to discover that in Australia many homeless women and women in domestic violence shelters face unthinkable indignities during their monthly period.

For these women, each month brings a shameful and traumatic experience such as having to clean themselves in public toilets and use paper towels or newspaper to create makeshift sanitary pads.

In response to these confronting struggles a charity called ‘Share the Dignity’ was created by two Brisbane mothers to help these women and provide them with much needed sanitary items.

The charity aims to give every woman in Australia the ability to manage their periods with dignity – they believe that “no woman should suffer the indignity of choosing between eating or buying sanitary items”.

Periods may seem like a minor issue in comparison to some of the other struggles that homeless women face, however, it is an issue that affects ALL homeless women.

For the most of us we have Nurofen, a warm bed, hot water bottles, chocolate and a clean supply of sanitary items on hand to see us through our time of the month. Homeless women, on the other hand, did not have access to these things before the charity was founded. I find it really hard to imagine what this would have been like for those women.

So here’s where we can help to ensure that everyone is afforded the dignity in life that many of us take for granted.

‘Share the Dignity’ charity are calling on the public to help – simply grab an old handbag that you may have lying around at home, place a couple of packs of tampons, pads, maternity pads and/or new reusable pads inside and drop it into a ‘Share the Dignity’ collection box between 1 August and 31 August. The girls at Macquarie Medi Spa in Bathurst, as well as the Bathurst City Life office, have collection boxes set-up ready for your donations.

Where do your donations go?

‘Share the Dignity’ charity workers identify charities and organisations in Australia who have a need for donations to assist homeless women and women at risk of homelessness.

They then supply these organisations with the items collected. The aim is to deliver items collected in Bathurst to local charities, so the product you donate stays in your local area.

Excess items are donated to other communities – whether that is locally, interstate or internationally, where women have a need for sanitary items and other donated products.

Visit the ‘Share the Dignity’ website for more information and to discover other ways you can help this worthy charity

Mumma C xx