“Feminine hygiene products are not a luxury.”
This is the message Maitland MP Jenny Aitchison is hoping will drive the community to donate this month.
According to the mother-of-two, supporting the national-wide Share the Dignity drive can directly help homeless and displaced women in more ways than one.
“Women suffering ‘period poverty’ can experience impacts on their health, hygiene and self-esteem,” Ms Aitchison said.
“It can also rob women of opportunities including employment.”
During the month of August, Share the Dignity is conducting a national drive collecting pads, tampons, menstrual cups, incontinence pads and other items to help homeless and displaced women manage their menstrual periods with dignity.
Ms Aitchison said this year it was even more important to support the cause.
“As a result of COVID-19 the nation is headed towards its deepest recession since The Great Depression and more and more people are struggling simply to eat and keep the lights on,” she said.
“The number of women experiencing homelessness and fleeing domestic violence is greater now than ever.”
Newcastle State MP Tim Crakanthorp agreed.
“I think many of us used to take for granted having easy access to essential items, but the COVID-19 pandemic has definitely changed that,” he said.
“These sanitary items are necessities, and donating to the drive is a small gesture that can make a big difference to someone in need.”
This year, Share the Dignity has partnered with several local support agencies, including Woolworths supermarkets, to ensure the donations go where they are most needed.
Ms Aitchison and Mr Crakanthorp’s offices are both official drop-off zones for unopened product donations.
Visit the Share the Dignity website for more details.