The event ‘Menstruation Matters’ has received well over 1,000 donated products. The public disgust may continue against the art piece “An Expensive Habit,” however, many people are still struggling to access menstruation products.
BON organic tampons has donated products, asking that they go to schools so young women do not have to miss out on their education while menstruating. We will begin distributing soon and have been in contact with some of the schools in need.
One of the schools to receive some of these donated menstrual products will be Eden Campus Teen Parent Unit.
Karen Donnelly from Auckland Girls Grammar, Eden Campus Teen Parent Unit states “The donation of sanitary items would be very useful and really appreciated by these young women. They are expensive essentials.”
Carole Beu, from The Women's Bookshop shares that, ”Zoe has done an amazing on raising awareness of menstruation and the difficulty some people face in obtaining tampons and menstrual products. We at The Women's Bookshop are very happy to be a ‘receiving depot’ for any donation, personal or commercial, of menstruation products.”
We are still asking for more to be donated, as there are many more schools and women in need! These donations only scratch the surface of the need for these products.
Many people are stating that $4 a month is not much to put aside. This argument does not account for households with multiple menstruating women, also that one $4 pack will not last a full period, the women who bleed more frequently, and at times constantly, from issues such as endometriosis and women with ovarian cysts will need to spend far more than $4 a month. Let’s keep in mind. One tampon only lasts four hours max, 20 minutes for a heavy flow, then times that by a full week of ‘x’ amount of women.
Vanessa Cole, Auckland Action Against Poverty (AAAP) states “When you go into Work and Income for a food grant you are given an amount calculated by the Otago Food Study of the basic food necessary to survive. The problem with this survey is that it calculates the cost of weekly intake of the food, not the cost of items when you go to the supermarket. For example cheese is calculated as $2.10 per week but you don't just buy two slices of cheese you have to buy the whole block.”
In February 2017, Stuff.co.nz did a Facebook poll where 12,000 people agreed that tampons should be subsidized while only 780 said no. This speaks to the fact that there is high support for these essential items to be subsidised.
We live in a society that access to almost anything relies on your socio-economic position. People are already struggling to access basic needs such as food and shelter. Housing is currently a massive issue in Auckland, and across the nation. Regardless of one's financial position, be it a result of bad choices, or not, everyone should be able to access these basic necessities.
If we want our children to have the best start if life as possible, bleeding from one’s vagina should not be a barrier to accessing and attending educational facilities. Mothers should be able to go to work without having to resort to rolled up socks and toilet paper.