Imagine being stuck in a hospital bed, injured, or seriously ill and you get your period. You don’t have a pad, tampon or any period products on you because, well, you’re barely able to move, let alone head to the shops to buy a pack.
So you ask the hospital staff to provide you with something, only to be told, no, sorry, we don’t offer that.
This is something that happens every single day, to women across Australia.
Today … in Australia. In 2022, people. Not in the 1930s. 2022. Left to bleed in their hospital beds because period products aren’t freely provided.
And we are horrified.
We’re not the only ones. The beautiful souls behind the charity, Share the Dignity discovered this was the case last year.
Now they’re committed to ensuring period products are free and easily accessible in all public hospitals for patients who request them.
As they shared with Mum Central,
We found out it wasn’t mandatory for hospitals to provide patients with pads when they needed them. So many people have been given a diaper, a gauze, a towel or just left to bleed on the sheets when they have their period in Australian hospital.
We want to ensure this doesn’t happen to anyone again.”
Share the Dignity put a social media call-out on their page, and received thousands of responses from women sharing their harrowing stories of being forced to bleed through their hospital gowns or wear an adult nappy as an alternative to a pad, while sick and vulnerable in hospital.
Take Alethea, for example, just one of the thousands of Australians who have been forced to go without suitable period products while in hospital:
I was in the Neurology Ward recovering from post-brain surgery and got my period as per normal. When I asked for a pad, the nurse said that they don’t supply them. When I asked why not given that it’s a hospital, she said they simply don’t and that they have other priorities.
She offered to get a pair of incontinence adult pull-ups for me – if they had any in stock. I asked what I was meant to do, and she walked away saying that I should have been prepared and brought my own.”
Now it should be noted that some public hospitals may provide pads to those in need. In other hospitals, nurses may go into their own personal stash to help women out. But the issue here is that access to period products in hospitals is not guaranteed. And this is just. plain. wrong.
Sign the Federal Petition
That’s why we wanted to bring your attention to a Federal Petition, launched by Share the Dignity, to mandate the provision of free pads to all patients being cared for in public hospitals nationally.
Share the Dignity is calling on Australians to sign the petition to reach 100,000 signatures by 16 March 2022.
In 2018, this charity was responsible for gaining 104,000 signatures on a Federal Petition to successfully remove the GST on period products. Let’s do it again.
How you can help
It’s really simple. Head to the Petition. Sign your name. Done.
At the time of publishing this, the signature numbers were at 26,000. Let’s get to 100,000, ladies. We need to do this.
If you’d like, you can also share your story through the form on the #PadUpPublicHealth website. You can also show your support by using this hashtag on your socials.