Dealing with a monthly period is something many women take for granted, ducking to the shop for last minute supplies and continuing with everyday life.
But it is a different experience for homeless and at-risk women who may have to make the choice between buying sanitary items or feeding their family.
Makeshift pads of wadded up toilet paper, newspaper or socks, and using public restrooms in an attempt to remain clean may be the only way for women in need to deal with their period.
A nationwide campaign to collect sanitary items for women in need is running now in Hepburn Shire, driven by the belief that sanitary items are a right not a privilege.
Hepburn Shire residents are encouraged to donate pads and tampons throughout April to collection points at Vinnies in Daylesford, Terry White Chemist in Daylesford, and Trentham Neighbourhood House.
All donated items are delivered to a Hepburn Shire service, which in the past has included Child and Family Services in Daylesford and other welfare organisations.
Hepburn Shire Share the Dignity volunteer Barbara Merrifield is hoping for a large number of donations to help women in need in the area.
Share the Dignity Founder Rochelle Courtenay said so many women, every month, have to forfeit sanitary products because they cannot afford them.
Many mothers have to choose between buying tampons and feeding their children. Girls miss out on school simply because families cannot afford to buy the basics of necessities.Rochelle Courtenay, Share the Dignity founder
“When they cannot have access to the essential feminine products, women become extremely resourceful…. by using wadded up newspaper, or toilet paper or socks. This should not be happening.”
On any given night in Australia, 1 in 200 people are homeless; 44 per cent are female, 27 per cent are children under the age of 18. Family violence is the number one reason people present to homeless services, with 55 per cent of females citing this reason.
Share the Dignity also run a campaign to end the tax on female hygiene products.
Visit https://www.sharethedignity.com.au/ for details.