File photo: Newbridge
Local Newbridge Women have come together to highlight and challenge issues facing their community and beyond.
The group which is facilitated by Newbridge Family Resource Centre has been meeting online to prepare a project for International Women’s Day on Monday 8th of March. The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is #ChoosetoChallange, and the group have decided to challenge the issue of period poverty in their community.
They are hoping to get the support of local businesses and community members to gather supplies of period and hygiene products to create period packs for women, girls and trans people in the locality who are at risk of experiencing period poverty.
"Period poverty refers to an inadequate access to period products, washing, waste management facilities and education. This leads to many adverse consequences. The direct health impacts of period poverty include an increased risk of infection due to the use of improvised products, infrequent changing of products and toxic shock syndrome," said the group.
"The inability to access suitable volumes of period products can lead to leakage, risking embarrassment, which then leads to people missing school, college, work and necessary appointments, and it reduces female participation in sport and other community activities. Plan International Ireland survey also found that 61% of Irish girls have missed school because of their period It is estimated that between 53,000 and 85,000 women, girls and trans people in Ireland are at risk of period poverty."
The challenge comes at a time when Senator’s have been discussing a Bill brought forward for the Free Provision of Period Products, the group are monitoring closely the conversations being had at a national and local level and welcome the introduction of this Bill and the conversations it has created and are hopeful about the actions that will follow from these conversations.
They are asking for people to make donations of sanitary towels, tampons, menstrual cups, water wipes and deodorant at the following drop off points: Cosgroves Pharmacy Newbridge, and Councillor Chris Pender’s Office Newbridge until March 8.
The group will then work to create period packs which will be distributed locally to individuals and support services. The hope is that these products will become as universally available in public bathrooms and businesses in the same way that toilet paper, soap and paper towels are provided.