THE community’s help is urgently needed to rev up the April Dignity Drive, set in motion to make a real, on-the-ground difference to women experiencing homelessness and poverty.
Instigated and organised by charity organisation Share the Dignity, the initiative seeks to provide the basic essentials for women and girls in crisis by making a call for pads, tampons and personal hygiene products to distribute to women nationwide.
Dignity founder Rochelle Courtenay said the organisation, through its bi-annual drive helps in some small way to alleviate the undignified situations thousands of women across the country have to endure.
“So many women have to forfeit sanitary products because they cannot afford them. Many mothers have to choose between buying tampons and feeding their children,” she said.
“Girls miss out on school simply because families cannot afford to buy the basics of necessities.
“The drive touches on our need to collect 200,000 packets of pads and tampons for the undignified situations so many women have to endure.”
“When women don’t have access to the essential feminine products, they become extremely resourceful. Some use wadded up newspaper, toilet paper or socks. This should not be happening.”
In March, Share the Dignity petitioned the Federal Government to put an end to taxing sanitary products.
“In less than a month we have already collected more than 104,000 signatures to axe the tax,” Ms Courtenay said.
“Feminine hygiene products are not a luxury therefore they should not be taxed.
“Women who cannot afford them have no way of pursuing a normal public or private life — and they are also at risk of jeopardising their health.”
There are collection points at the Riverine Herald office at 28 Percy St in Echuca and Terry White Pharmacy in Rochester.