1. What does the word Dignity mean to you?
Dignity is a very simple word that addresses a much larger framework of how all individuals deserve to be treated. Treating people with dignity means that individuals from all walks of life are recognised, included and accepted by others, whilst being treated with respect, empathy & fairness.
2. What was your experience with your period growing up?
I was incredibly fortunate to have a positive experience with my period when I was younger. I attended a boarding school from the ages of 12-18, and during that time I was surrounded by girls who were all going through the first stages of their period together. We would stay awake at night to trade our best period secrets, and to listen to everyone's experiences. I was told by older women when I was young that your period was something to despise, but the supportive network that I had made the whole experience far less intimidating.
It was through this that made me realise how important honest and supportive communication networks are, especially for younger girls. Here at BeYou, we are striving to make that experience possible regardless of where you are.
3. What is the best thing for you about being/identifying as a woman and menstruation?
The beautiful thing about menstruation is that every person with a uterus throughout time is connected through this shared experience. There is a mutual sense of support and understanding that extends far beyond ourselves, and is now reaching out further through opening channels of communication.
4. What makes you feel empowered/comfortable in your skin?
The ability to be able to talk about subjects that I am passionate about among people who actively listen and contribute meaningfully to share ideas and experiences.
I love to learn, and you can learn so much from others.
5. What would you like to say to anyone getting their first period
That everything may feel incredibly overwhelming and scary at the beginning. But I promise that you will find your feet and find the best way to deal with your period on your own terms. Periods can be horrific at times, but surround yourself with people who are there to support and listen to you.
6. How would you like to change the status quo around access and period equity in Aotearoa?
The first and one of the most important steps is already beginning to happen - opening up the conversation in the first place. In addition I would love to increase access to resources for people who mensturate everywhere. Regardless of age, location, demographic, or gender. People who mensturate should always have access to sanitary items, resources, information, and support to make their period easier.
7. What impact are you most excited about seeing through the partnership between BeYou and Dignity?
I am excited to help people around New Zealand gain access to a wider range of resources that address more than just the physical bleeding of a period. We can help minimise period pain to decrease the amount of girls in schools who miss out on educational opportunities because of their pain.