Kyabram Free Press

Locals fight period poverty

- By Nicole Thomson Picture:

One in five Victorians is forced to ‘improvise’ on period products, but these locals are fighting to change that.

Debra Ruedin, a Share The Dignity ‘Regional Queen’ for Goulburn River and Ranges, has partnered with businesses in Echuca, Rochester and Kyabram to set up donation boxes for period hygiene products.

Century 21 in both Echuca and Rochester, Hakkas Hairdressi­ng in Echuca, as well as the Woolworths outlets in Echuca, Moama and Kyabram will have boxes for locals to donate products such as tampons, pads, menstrual cups and underwear, and incontinen­ce products.

The donation drive is a part of Share The Dignity's August ‘Dignity Drive’, fighting against period poverty in Australia.

According to Share The Dignity's Period Pride report, 20 per cent of Victorians who menstruate have had to improvise their period products with toilet paper and other unsuitable alternativ­es due to the cost.

Additional­ly, 47 per cent of respondent­s said that they had worn a pad or tampon longer than the recommende­d four hours because they didn't have enough products to get by, while 45 per cent of respondent­s said that they had skipped school for at least an entire day because of their period.

Ms Ruedin has made it clear that all donations to the August Share The Dignity drive in the region will be supporting locals who are struggling.

“(The donated products) don't

❝We expected to see that shame and stigma surroundin­g periods still exists, but we couldn't have predicted the sheer number of people who have struggled to afford period products.❞ — Rochelle Courtenay

go off to Melbourne or Sydney,” she said.

“They stay in the community and are distribute­d locally.”

Share The Dignity founder and managing director Rochelle Courtenay said the research from the Period Pride report painted an alarming picture of the reality facing many people who menstruate.

“We expected to see that shame and stigma surroundin­g periods still exists, but we couldn't have predicted the sheer number of people who have struggled to afford period products,” Ms Courtenay said.

“It's not just about using toilet paper either, it's about not having access to period products when you need them — whether that's changing to a less suitable but more affordable product or asking a friend to purchase products for you.

“This experience is more common than we thought, but not spoken about enough.

“It's likely that your mum, aunty, friend or colleague has found themselves in a situation like this.

“No person should ever go without these essentials.”

Ms Ruedin was pleased with the public support for the drive this time around.

Woolworths Echuca, at the corner of Darling St and Nish St, Echuca.

Woolworths Moama, at the corner of Cobb Hwy and Pericoota Rd, Moama.

Woolworths Kyabram, Union St, Kyabram.

Century 21 Echuca, at 128 Hare St, Echuca.

Century 21 Rochester, at 60 Mackay St, Rochester.

Hakkas Hair Design Echuca, Shop 8/9 at 157 Hare St, Echuca.

Priceline Echuca, 147-149 Annesley St, Echuca. on

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 ??  ?? Century 21's Andrew Lochhead with Priceline Echuca's Tina Gotts and Kathy Kostoglou and Share The Dignity 'Regional Queen' for Goulburn River and Ranges, Debra Ruedin.
Steve Huntley
Century 21's Andrew Lochhead with Priceline Echuca's Tina Gotts and Kathy Kostoglou and Share The Dignity 'Regional Queen' for Goulburn River and Ranges, Debra Ruedin. Steve Huntley
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