To help share the dignity, staff at our Perth laboratory, MPL Laboratories, supported this year’s “It’s in the Bag” Christmas initiative.
Organised by the not-for-profit organisation, Share the Dignity, the “It’s in the Bag” initiative was held Friday, November 22 – Saturday, December 7 2019, and involved the collection of personal hygiene products and everyday luxuries for homeless women as well as women at risk or those suffering domestic violence.
Sue Nash, Sandy Miller, Kira Dewar-Byrnes and Michael Kubiak from our Perth lab led the team to get involved in such an important cause. Once a collection box was set up at the lab, staff proceeded to donate handbags, backpacks, toiletries and sanitary items. At the end of the campaign, the team dropped off the donations at their local Bunnings store. These donations have since been collected by Share the Dignity volunteers, who will organise their distribution to a variety of shelters, charities and support centres across inner-city, suburban, regional and rural locations in Australia, just in time for Christmas.
Whilst the "It’s in the Bag" Christmas campaign runs for a short period, donations can still be made throughout the year by getting involved in other events organised by Share the Dignity, volunteering, donating directly or shopping online on Share the Dignity’s online store.
Women and Poverty
The study of poverty from the point of view of gender has continued to be recognised over time. The Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) reported in late 2018 that there are just over three million Australians (13.2%) living in poverty with women the most likely to be living in economic disadvantage (13.4% as against 13.0% for men based on the 50% poverty line). Homelessness, inadequate medical or dental care and poor hygiene are some consequences of living below the poverty line.
A lack of access to sanitary products due to financial constraints is referred to as “period poverty” and impacts girls and women around the world. According to UNICEF, not being able to use these facilities makes it harder for women and young girls to manage their periods, and therefore, may limit them in reaching their full potential at school. In remote areas of Australia, Indigenous girls living in remote communities, have been found to regularly miss school when they menstruate because of the restrictive price of menstrual hygiene products. No woman should be held back because of her period.
About the “It's In The Bag” Campaign
The "It’s in the bag" Christmas campaign is an annual event organised by the not-for-profit organisation, Share the Dignity, which supports vulnerable women and girls during the festive period by providing them with handbags filled with essential hygiene products and various other treats. Particularly at Christmas time, women are often the last to receive gifts, preferring their families and children to be the recipients.
About Share the Dignity
Founded in 2015 by Rochelle Courtenay, Share the Dignity is an Australian Charity bringing dignity to homeless, at-risk and those experiencing domestic violence through the distribution of sanitary items and funding of funerals.
Run on the power of volunteers across Australia, funds and donations are collected through events held during the year, direct donations and the charity's online store.
More information can be found at Share the Dignity's website: https://sharethedignity.com.au/