Every month, vulnerable and at risk women without access to proper sanitary items experience unthinkable indignities during their period.
Kirstie Munn, a local volunteer of the national charity Share the Dignity, aims to change this.
“We’re a national charity where our primary focus is providing sanitary products to homeless women, women at risk, Aboriginal communities – anyone at risk,” she said.
The charity has been servicing the Penrith region since August 2015, and all of the products collected will be delivered to groups in the area.
“When I first became aware of it through a friend on Facebook, it brought to my attention something I had never considered before, which was how do homeless women deal with having their period,” Ms Munn said.
“I’m lucky I can afford sanitary pads, I can have a shower to keep myself clean.
“But there are women that are using newspapers, paper towels and even rolled up socks to create makeshift sanitary pads – where’s the dignity in that?”
Local businesses collect donated sanitary pads through April and August, and donations are accepted 365 days a year at Penrith’s Chemist Warehouse through the staff at the registers.
Share the Dignity volunteers have already begun their end of year campaign, #itsinthebag, where people fill a handbag with the essentials that we take for granted and that some women consider luxuries.
For more information, visit www.sharethedignity.com.au.
Emily Newton is the Weekender’s police and political reporter. Emily is also the Weekender’s Senior Journalist.