Period Poverty in New Zealand

Is it that time of the month again, is old Aunt flo is visiting, are you on the rag, is it moon time, or perhaps you’re checking into the Red Roof Inn?

All of these are ways of referring to something that every woman gets, their period. It’s incredible that although every woman gets it, it’s still such a taboo topic to talk about it publicly. This is a topic that is often met with hushed tones and often makes people feel embarrassed. Ok I get it, not everyone wants to shout from the rooftops that they are menstruating, but seriously team… we all know it is part of life and we all deal with it in different ways, we shouldn’t be embarrassed about it. If anything, I think now is the time we started talking about it.

We should start talking about it because it may shock you to learn, but there is a thing called ‘Period Poverty’ here in New Zealand. After doing some research, I was so sad to find that girls as young as 10 have been using socks stuffed with newspaper or torn sheets to protect their dignity and some simply have not been attending school or work at all to save themselves the embarrassment and worry of insufficient protection.

Having read a study from overseas on this topic women, who have experienced ‘Period Poverty’ (or lack of access to sanitary items) are more likely to suffer from anxiety or depression, struggle to pay their bills and have an unfulfilling love life. We know that lack of money and education is often the cause of this issue and whilst there are always going to be hurdles for some people, there are going to be people who want to help.

To help make sanitary items more accessible and affordable for women across New Zealand, Countdown have dropped the price on a range of their Homebrand and Select sanitary products. They’re now as low as $2 per pack, which makes it easier to throw in the trolley during a weekly show so that people can equip themselves with an absolute household essential – and hopefully be able to build up a stash of products for when ‘that time of the month’ occurs.

When’s even better is that there is no compromise on quality even though these products have dropped in price.

Now I know that the conversation will happen, so I am going to say it first – Yes, these are single-use sanitary items. HOWEVER, I feel that this is one area we should relax about. I truly feel that no woman in New Zealand, young or old, should have to feel bad for needing to use single-use sanitary items to protect themselves. I am 100% with you on this campaign Countdown.

With that being said, I think it’s also important to mention that Countdown will also be stocking Menstrual cups in selected stores across New Zealand to give people a more environmentally friendly option if they choose to – and I’m so delighted about it.

Sue 🌿

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