Share the Dignity distributes period products to women and girls, and this week launched its Period Pride campaign.
At the heart of the project is its Bloody Big Survey, a callout for at least 10,000 menstruating women to share their experience, thoughts and feelings on this natural occurrence.
“While the distribution of products is so important, if we still have shame and stigma surrounding menstruation, we can’t empower those in need to take control of their period,” said Rochelle Courtenay, Founder and Managing Director of Share the Dignity.
Almost half the population commonly suffer from shame, anxiety, confusion and sometimes trauma because of their periods
Share the Dignity will use the survey data to help open dialogue and crush period stigma.
Analysing the responses will also transform access to education on menstruation and to period products when needed.
Barbara Merrifield, Share the Dignity’s regional leader Ballarat, Grampians and Goldfields, will be leading her team of volunteers with the rollout of the biannual Dignity Drive, which occurs each March and August.
“While we will be busy at the coal face collecting donated period products to supply our charity partners for distribution, the survey is an opportunity for women and girls to contribute in a personal way,” Ms Merrifield said.
Tanika Johnston, 16 years old, jumped online when her grandmother Ms Merrifield mentioned the survey.
“The survey was very easy to complete,” Ms Johnston said.
“The questions were reasonably detailed but didn’t make me feel uncomfortable,” she said.
“My periods generally make me feel like curling up in a ball and crying; it is an emotionally heavy time for me.
“I just hope my answers are beneficial for the survey.”
Jane Bennett, Australia’s most renowned menstrual educator and author of About Bloody Time: the menstrual revolution we have to have, said running the survey in an online environment makes it accessible.
“Women and girls can sit in the privacy of their one home and type away,” Ms Bennett said.
“This will help the conversation, but the degree of understanding about periods and the menstrual cycle in the mainstream is still fairly appalling.
“We know how to manage diabetes and how to be heart-healthy, but we don’t know how to cope with our periods.”
Learn more about period pride and complete the bloody big survey: https://www.sharethedignity.org.au/period-pride
Image: Vlada Karpovich from Pexels