The first Dignity Vending Machine in NSW is being installed at Illawarra Women's Health Centre.
The machine helps take away the embarrassment many women feel when they have to ask someone for sanitary items. It holds 75 Period Packs containing pads and tampons. A free pack can be distributed every 10 minutes. Share the Dignity’s distribution of the machines across Australia has been made possible by public donations as well as successful grant applications.
Share the Dignity founder Rochelle Courtenay said access to sanitary items is declared a human right by the United Nations. “Yet, we know that in Australia there are thousands of women who don’t have access to pads, tampons, menstrual cups or period-proof underwear”.
The machine is being installed at Illawarra Women's Health Centre free of charge and Share the Dignity will keep it stocked at no cost.
In Australia 83,000 people between the ages of 12 and 54 are homeless and of those 44 per cent are female. And every month,up to 36,500 Australian women and girls face the hardship, danger and emotional anxiety of being homeless, as well as the discomfort and lack of dignity that comes from struggling to afford menstrual hygiene products.
Infoxchange chief executive David Spriggs said “this is a critical support we can provide for women who are homeless or fleeing family violence that enables them to maintain some dignity in a situation where they are often feeling worthless”.