Menstruation and menstrual hygiene are emerging as crucial issues for gender equality, human rights and development.
In New Zealand we call this “Period Poverty”: PERIOD POVERTY IS A BIG PROBLEM IN NEW ZEALAND. There are many people in our communities lacking access to menstrual care products due to financial restraints. They just cant afford to buy them for themselves or their children.
Without access to sanitary products these people are suffering in more ways than one. Menstruation continues to be a taboo topic so women in girls hide in shame missing work, school and university. This has a significant impact on education, gender dynamics, equality and basic human dignity. Young girls are forced into using birth control injections and implants to avoid getting their periods: they just can’t afford to have them. This is unhealthy for young, developing bodies.
There are many organisations fighting for equality in this area as it seems to be a very hot topic in New Zealand. But despite many news articles, petitions to the government and wonderful community groups and individuals working at the cliff face of period poverty, it still remains a secretive subject.
We need to break the silence.
We need to have the conversation.
We need to act.
While some people are reluctant to discuss this publicly, we have found that talking about menstruation is a powerful entry point into raising awareness around gender equality, sexuality education and empowerment. Menstruation is a sign of good health and vitality and breaking the silence is essential for all people to reach their full potential in whatever they wish to achieve.
In our experience, talking to hundreds of people about menstruation we have found that they are very eager to talk about it openly. At times we sense it is almost a relief to discuss something they have never been able to talk about openly. Some find themselves learning new things about their bodies and realize it’s OK to get your period when you have access to menstrual management products.
My Cup NZ wants to help end period poverty in New Zealand by the distribution of free menstrual cups to those areas of need. With our Buy One, Give One Program, we distribute menstrual cups to our community partners and ambassadors all over New Zealand. With a menstrual cup, you can provide a long lasting solution to empower a person, enabling them to succeed in life by attending school, university and work.
We do understand that there are people who, for cultural or personal reasons, cannot use a menstrual cup. There are many organisations around NZ that supply reusable menstrual pads to people who need them. Please see “Days for Girls NZ” for one of the larger organisations, get in touch with them if you know people who would benefit from using reusable menstrual pads. There are also smaller groups who make them for free for people living in their region. If you want to make reusable pads for your region, let us know so we can put you in touch with others who are doing the same thing and they can share their knowledge with you to get started.
Breaking the silence around menstruation is essential for women and girls to be able to reach their full potential. Lets improve the lives of those who are suffering period poverty! No-one life should be inhibited by menstruation.
You can change a life by either donating a cup OR buying one for yourself and we will donate one to an organisation distributing Menstrual Cups to areas of need in New Zealand.