Of the 3.2 million Australians currently living below the poverty line, 52% of those are women and young girls. Many of them are experiencing what is referred to as ‘period poverty’ – being unable to afford necessary sanitary products.
Share the Dignity is an Australian women’s charity that started in 2015 to bring dignity to homeless, at-risk women and girls experiencing domestic violence through the distribution of sanitary items.
To support their ongoing work, Woolworths will donate five cents from every pack of sanitary items sold, including pads, tampons, liners or period briefs, across its stores nationally.
The donated funds will be used to install and maintain more of the charity’s world first ‘Pink Box Dignity Vending Machines’, which dispense free period packs to women and girls in need.
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 basic of necessities. With an average of 4-5 period days a month, we estimate that disadvantaged girls are missing out on 400 days of schools, which is simply unacceptable.
“Our partnership with Woolworths means that with these funds, we can install up to 100 ‘Dignity Vending Machines’ in schools and disadvantaged communities over the next year, along with supporting other vital projects, to help ease that burden.”
Woolworths Supermarkets Managing Director, Claire Peters said; “At Woolworths we have worked closely with hunger relief agencies for many years to support their efforts to feed those in need across Australia. Through this work we have seen first hand that it’s more than just food that many are going without, with sanitary items in high demand.
“Our partnership with Share the Dignity will provide further tangible relief to disadvantaged women and girls in the communities in which we operate, in a commitment that is expected to provide the charity with as much as one million dollars over the coming year.
“With anyone purchasing a sanitary item from Woolworths, we will donate five cents from the sale directly to Share the Dignity to help them continue their fantastic work of providing free feminine hygiene products to those that need it most.”
There are currently 100 ‘Pink Box Dignity Vending Machines’ installed in Australia, and this number is expected to double by the end of 2019.