In South Australia there are young people who cannot afford to buy sanitary hygiene products when they have their period.
It’s worth thinking on what that really means for a moment.
This unhygienic, difficult and degrading reality is referred to as ‘period poverty’.
Prevalent in many developing countries, it also happens here in South Australia and is impacting on the capacity of those young people affected to attend school, sporting and social commitments.
Period poverty is causing young people to feel shame for being dependent on others to supply these essential items, while forcing them to use inadequate alternatives that include socks, tissues and toilet paper.
Nobody should have to worry about how they are going to manage their period. Everyone has the right to access adequate hygiene products.
To address this inequity South Australia’s Commissioner for Children and Young People, Helen Connolly is calling upon government, the sanitary hygiene industry along with community stakeholders that include schools, community groups, sporting clubs, and public and private hospitals and universities, to work together to end period poverty permanently in our State.
An accessible, non-stigmatising supply and distribution scheme for a range of free hygiene and sanitary products that will reach the South Australian young people who need them as they cannot afford to purchase these essential items must be devised as a priority.