Over the past three and a half years we’ve provided over 27,000 boxes of product to 130 schools, youth organisations and women's support services across New Zealand.
Part of our mission is to reduce the stigma of period and advocate for free access using the impact data we collect each quarter.
We’ve just had the 2020 budget announced and period equity had a small amount of money allocated to it. This is a small start to the ideal vision of providing these products to all students like the governments have committed to in UK, Wales and Scotland.
There are no details or announcements at this stage for what this increase in money will go towards or how it will reach those in need.
Dignity was a leading organization for the Positive Periods campaign calling on the government to provide free items to students just like in UK, Wales and Scotland. This was a collaborative campaign with 25 other organisations in the period industry who believed in this mission. I started a petition for this campaign which got over 3000 signatures in 6 weeks, this was presented to Hon Julie Anne Genter, Minister for Women who said there would be action on this and later that day the Prime Minister said period poverty is a personal priority for her.
We can all understand that the world has changed since last November, but what hasn’t changed is that period poverty still exists. Students don’t have access to these items. 72% of our schools report students are able to come to school when these items are available. With the hard economic recession we are falling into period poverty is going to become a larger problem.
We are lucky that Dignity as an impact business, with the support of our corporate partners, we will survive the Covid-19 pandemic and be able to continue the work we do. Our support to those experiencing period poverty will in no doubt increase and become more of a necessity as the economic situation worsens.
The announcement is a good start but we are keen to hear more details about how this can help those in need and how the money will be spent.
In the meantime, we will continue to make sure the schools we support have access to these items and continue to advocate for government level change to provide these items to all students.
If you would like to help us with this mission you can support our Give Two Boxes initiative which provides two boxes to those experiencing period poverty and get in touch to help us advocate for change.
Kia kaha and keep up the good fight.