A Cost of Living Crisis: 57% of Menstruating Aussies Can’t Afford Period Products

The cost of living crisis: It’s making everything from bread to Beyblades more expensive. It’s making our rent prices buckwild. It’s making electricity bills almost death sentences. 

What’s more, the cost of living crisis is driving more people into period poverty. This means that a lot of folks can no longer afford to purchase themselves menstrual products

According to Eloise Hall, the Co-Founder of TABOO Period Products, the current period poverty stats are super concerning. And TABOO’s mission is to eradicate period poverty.

Eloise Hall
Image: Eloise Hall

Hall told The Latch about a Plan International Australia survey from April of 2023. According to 517 menstruating adults, born after 1980, it was more difficult to purchase period products in 2022 than in the precursory years. There’s no major evidence to suggest that things are getting better.

What’s more, the cost of living crisis is also forcing more people to seek help. This can be demonstrated in the fact that an influx of people are asking TABOO for period poverty support. TABOO has a program where it provides people who menstruate with free period products.

“We have a ‘Pad It Forward’ model,” stated Eloise Hall, “Where people can buy our pads and tampons on behalf of people at risk in Australia. We’ve got 14 partnerships with organisations and charities around the country supporting  the people that they care for with free pads and tampons.” 

“We have certainly noticed a lot more enquiries in the last few weeks, people looking to partner with us to receive that free product. It’s probably a response to the cost of living crisis.”

Share the Dignity

It’s worth noting that TABOO isn’t the only menstrual-centred organisation that’s been impacted by the 2023 cost of living crisis. Share the Dignity has also experienced an influx of people asking for a hand. 

By its own accord, “Share the Dignity works to make a real, on-the-ground difference in the lives of women… We distribute sanitary items to those in need and work to end period poverty here in Australia.”

In recent times, the cost of living crisis has made Share the Dignity’s work more difficult. This is because some folks can no longer afford to buy themselves period products, and they’re asking this org for support. However, Share the Dignity is receiving less donations, as less people have the means to step up.  

During Share the Dignity’s March charity drive, their charity partners had asked them for 171,666 period products. And at the end of this drive, 117,458 products had been donated.

This shortfall meant that some real people didn’t have the menstrual products that they needed. This is what happens when the price of existing’s too high.

Period Poverty: Who’s At Fault?

Image: Unsplash

Period poverty is an unacceptable reality that too many people slog through every day. It prevents teens from going to school. It further embarrasses those who need the most help. 

So, who’s at fault for this awful situation? Is it the government? For not capping the price of our period products? Or is it the menstrual brands? For making their period products too pricey? 

Well, Eloise Hall has an interesting answer to these questions. She believes that everyone has a role to play in eradicating period poverty. She believes that it’s a collective responsibility.

As Hall said, “My rule of thumb is that wherever there’s toilet paper, there should also be access to period products. And whoever’s responsibility it is to buy the toilet paper, it is also their responsibility to buy period products.” 

This means that it’s our schools’ responsibility to end period poverty. It’s each workplace’s responsibility to end period poverty. And if your bank account’s somehow thriving, then it’s your responsibility too. 

In each Federal Government building and menstrual brand office, there should be free period products. Welcome to the future we’re fighting for.

Period Poverty: What You Can Do to Help

If you’re financially stable, there are some simple things you can do to help end period poverty. For example, you can put a box of pads and tampons next to your toilet. Make them accessible for your guests. Don’t be embarrassed, menstruating is a foundation of life.

Pad It Forward ad
Image: Taboo

Additionally, if you can afford to do it, sign up for TABOO’s Pad It Forward programme. ‘Cause it’s only $7.00 a month. That’s less than a Netflix subscription.

If you’re interested in joining the Pad It Forward movement, click the A+ link here.

Share the Dignity at work
Image: Share the Dignity

Meanwhile, Share the Dignity is also asking for monthly and one-off donations. If you send these chums $40, they will be able to provide eight people with the period products they need. 

If you want to stan Share the Dignity, click the righteous link here.

Related: Wimbledon’s All-White Dress Code Is an Issue for Players on Their Period

Related: Melbourne Bathrooms Will Now Stock Free Tampons To Help Period Poverty

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