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Sharing the dignity at Hobart high tea

SHARE the Dignity’s annual DigniTea high tea event returned to Hobart on 29 May, raising awareness and much-needed funds for those experiencing period poverty in Australia.

Hundreds of millions of women worldwide suffer from period poverty: the inability to afford or acquire menstrual products to safely manage their period.

A recent survey revealed at least 24 per cent of Australian women suffer period poverty, and the actual figure is likely to be higher.

Rochelle Courtenay founded Share the Dignity in 2015, and the organisation has now donated more than 3.5 million packets of pads and tampons to those in need.

“Like many charities, our monetary donations took a hit in 2020 and 2021 with the cancellation of most of our DigniTea events, which slowed our progress in areas like our Dignity Vending Machines,” Ms Courtenay said.

“But ending period poverty is about more than just funding, collecting, and distributing products.

“It’s also about removing the shame and stigma associated with menstruation and being relentless in lobbying for policy changes to ensure dignified and reliable access for all.”

Labor Member for Clark Ella Haddad hosted the Hobart DigniTea event – one of 11 held across Australia last month to mark World Menstrual Hygiene Day (28 May).

“Share the Dignity is an amazing organisation that works tirelessly to bring about positive change for women across the country, and educate people on period poverty,” Ms Haddad said.

“They run massive donation drives each year through Woollies, and many other partners. Many MPs offices are also collection points – mine is one of them.

“They also distribute through schools and hospitals, and have vending machines installed all around the country.”

Other Share the Dignity initiatives include ‘Dress for Dignity’, where people can donate formal wear and other clothing; and the ‘It’s in the Bag’ program, which encourages people to put together handbags filled with essential items like shampoo, conditioner, deodorant and menstrual products.

To support the program, go to www.sharethedignity.org.au

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About the Author: Hobart Observer

The Hobart Observer is your monthly community newspaper, reaching over 24,000 homes and businesses in and around the City of Hobart. It is the product of Nicolas Turner, Justine Brazil, Ben Hope, Simon Andrews, Tobias Hinds and guest contributors, with support from advertisers.

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