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This charity is working to give women better access to period products in remote Indigenous communities

by News Desk

The Wurrumiyanga Women’s Centre on Bathurst Island in the Northern Territory has received a delivery of about 1000 free period products to help women and girls in the community manage their periods.

In remote Indigenous communities like this one, the cost of period products can be a massive barrier for many girls and women in managing their period. It’s not uncommon for packs of pads to retail for $15 or more.

Bathurst Island is part of the Tiwi Islands, located off the coast of the Northern Territory mainland. The delivery to the Wurrumiyanga community (Nguiui) coincided with World Menstrual Hygiene Day.

Evita Puruntatameri (pictured above, second from left), the Activities Supervisor at Wurrumiyanga Women’s Centre, said the exorbitant cost of pads and tampons is a challenge for many women and girls in the community.

“Period products are incredibly expensive here on Tiwi so having support from Share the Dignity allows the women in our community to access products for free and in private,” Evita Puruntatameri said.

“It makes such a massive difference to our health by not having to worry about the cost.”

This delivery of period products is the 100th pallet of products distributed to remote Indigenous communities across Australia as part of the charity Share the Dignity’s Indigenous Menstrual Health program, in partnership with Libra.

Since the program launched in June last year, Share the Dignity estimates that 100,000 period products have been delivered to different communities.

Rochelle Courtenay, founder and managing director of Share the Dignity, said the cost of period products in remote communities can be much higher than other parts of Australia due to freight costs and a lack of competition.

“Not only are women and girls in these areas unable to access to cheap period products, but many also go without clean water, working toilets and underwear – all of which are essential for good menstrual management,” Courtenay said.

“After hearing stories of Indigenous girls having to resort to stealing pads or skipping school, we made it a priority to support remote Indigenous communities with the tools and education they need to combat period poverty.

“We’re still early in this journey and there’s much more to be done, but we’re proud to be working alongside Libra to empower so many women and girls in these communities to take control of their period.”

Share the Dignity is a charity that works to distribute period products to women, girls and anyone who menstruates, especially those who have experienced homelessness and domestic violence. To date, it has donated over 3.5 million packets of pads and tampons to those who need them.

You can donate to the charity’s bi-annual Dignity Drives in March and August, or purchase a virtual pack of pads online.

Main Image: Cara Munn, Evita Puruntatameri, Sophia Tipuanantunirri (on ute), and Louise Kelantumama. Source: supplied.

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