Heck Yes! The ACT Is Making Period Products Free

Folks, Canberra is officially in its slay era. The ACT is now the first joint in Australia to make period products free in a whack of accessible places.

On June 7, the ACT Legislative Assembly made this dream a reality. They did this by agreeing to implement the Period Products and Facilities Access Bill.

According to Share the Dignity’s Founder, Rochelle Courtenay, this change is going to make a huge difference in the lives of many Canberrans. Share the Dignity is an organisation on a mission to crush period poverty in Australia

“After working tirelessly to end period poverty in Australia for the last eight years, it is incredible to see this bill, the first of its kind in Australia, be passed in the ACT,” said Courtenay. “No one should have to make do with toilet paper, socks, or newspaper for their period, and this legislation will ensure women, girls, and those who menstruate won’t have to.”

However, this is just the beginning of the ACT’s work. Here’s everything you need to know about this situation.

Free Period Products: ACT Locations

As it stands, we don’t know which ACT facilities will be supplying these free period products. But Rochelle Courtenay has some suggestions. 

Talking to The Latch, Courtenay said, “I’m hoping to see the ACT provide period products in similar locations to where Share the Dignity has been providing access for the past eight years, it will just be even greater as our generous donors won’t need to be the ones funding it.”

According to Share the Dignity’s website, their pick-up locations are in a plethora of workplaces, businesses, charities, and shelters.

What’s Next For Share the Dignity

Now, just because the ACT is scoring a tonne of free period products, that doesn’t mean that Share the Dignity’s bouncing from Canberra. There is plenty of work still to be done.

As Rochelle Courtenay stated, “Share the Dignity will continue to seek donations in the ACT… We will then look to meet any gaps in the ACT and, in the case of excess donations, we will look to divert donations to other locations.” 

“Currently the bottom half of Australia funds the top half, so we would be looking to send any excess period product donations to the NT and WA where period poverty is extreme but fewer period products are donated.”

Should the Rest of Australia Follow in Canberra’s Steps?

While Rochelle Courtenay is stoked with what the ACT has legislated, she won’t rest until period poverty is abolished in Australia. This means that the other governments across our country will need to step up their game.

“I would love to see an Australia where there is equitable access to period products nationwide and hope this bill motivates the other states and territories to take similar action,” said Courtenay.

“My goal is to see every state and territory roll out a similar bill within the next five years so we can work towards ensuring menstrual equity Australia-wide.”

If you want to learn more about Share the Dignity’s work, or donate to their cause, click the link here.

Related: The ACT’s Free Abortions — When, Where, and How

Related: Period Poverty in Australia — What You Can Do to Help

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