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Weaving the Red Thread hopes to remove the stigma

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It’s time to talk about menstruation. 

That’s the message from Sahara Contempree and Amanda Trieger.

The Hunter-based naturopaths are the founders of Weaving the Red Thread, an organisation dedicated to proper period education.

The duo is hoping to bring the subject out of the shadows – for far too long it has been surrounded by shame, carrying the stigma of being a taboo and inappropriate topic. 

“Sahara and I are both Naturopathic Menstrual Educators and have been working to educate and support our community’s menstrual health and overall wellbeing,” Amanda said.

“Weaving the Red Thread was created from a call out from the mothers of the Wauchope-Port Macquarie Community who were looking for specific pre menarche (first period) and menstrual education for their daughters. 

“We’d both been running mother-daughter workshops for a while so we took the best of what we were doing separately and came together.”

Weaving the Red Thread’s Sahara Contempree and Amanda Trieger.

The organisation runs programs for mothers and their seven-to-nine-year-old and 10-to-15-year-old daughters. 

“We brought together our passion for menstrual education and are supporting girls, mothers, women, menstruators and men to understand how the menstrual cycle works and how to nourish cyclical living,” Sahara explained. 

To help raise awareness of the topic and bring an end to period poverty, the health and wellness entity is hosting a special screening of Pandora’s Box to raise money for Share the Dignity and, more importantly, start a conversation. 

Produced and directed by a primarily female crew, the documentary takes the viewer on a global journey through India, Uganda, the UK, and North America to explore the cultural and social subjugation of people who menstruate. 

It asks the world to lift the lid on periods and consider how eliminating stigma can help create gender equality.

“We hope the online event encourages people to support positive menstrual conversation and choices that support a positive culture and society,” Amanda said.

“It is such a long term discussion and something that should have started a long time ago. 

“So much has been done to support women, like the tampon tax being abolished and schools trialling free products in their bathrooms but more needs to be done.

“One in 10 girls have no idea what is happening to them when they start their period and 60% aren’t taught how to manage it. 

“These statistics reveal the need for a deeper conversation, education and support within the school system and community.”

Sahara added the event would have a profound effect on those going without. 

“I want people to understand the impact of buying a ticket,” she said.

“It will supply a girl, woman or menstruator with period products she otherwise would not have access to. 

“It’s upsetting knowing that many people cannot meet their biological need to collect their blood but it’s empowering to know there is something we can do to help via attending this event or [donating to] Share the Dignity’s Christmas Appeal.”

For parents, the duo’s number one tip is to be active in their daughter’s menstrual education. 

“Ask your schools for more holistic education for your child as they approach and move through puberty,” Sahara explained.

“Attend menarche or menstrual workshops for your daughter or yourself.

“Role model self care and cyclical living to open up the positive conversations which in their essence open up the old narrative of shame and silence to a new one of conversing, understanding and selfcare.”

For more information go to the Weaving the Red Thread Facebook page. To purchase tickets for the online event on Thursday 18 November, visit humantix.

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