Woman’s Day is here & we are reminded of what it is to be a Woman. To be strong, empowered and well damn beautiful in every way... but being a Woman is not always easy - and for some, there are many struggles that are out of our control. So we thought we'd explore one of the biggest blessings (in disguise) of Womanhood - And why for some, this has become even more of a pain than it needs to be.
(Via - Vicky Leta, Mashable)
Headaches, cramps, nausea, aching bodies, bloating and a good dose of emotional turmoil... Oh and a continuous stream of blood. Nope, no-one is dying, it's just a little monthly treat that some like to refer to as "that time of the month" or my personal fave "shark week"... Your period, that glorious 3 days to a week and a half of womanhood! Now don't get me wrong, 'Menarche' or rather the first time you have your period, is a massive step into the wonderful journey of becoming a woman, and a natural process that well, is a huge part of the reason why we are all here... So whilst it's not a date on my calendar that I eagerly await, I am proud to be a woman & I am grateful that I have had the support needed to understand what is happening to my body, and why. I have also been fortunate enough to have always had access to a range of sanitary items, medical support and medications, so that I am never left feeling worried, in pain or uncomfortable... But unfortunately this couldn't be further from the truth for many Kiwi Woman, who are deprived of the basics.
The other day I was going though the checkout of a little health food store, picking up a few items for the week to come, and naturally started chatting to the lovely woman behind the counter. We talked weather, food, and then the conversation lead to some of the products I was buying - A couple of ingredients for La Luna. I started to tell her about La Luna, what we do & our latest passion project... "Period poverty" she asked? She insisted that this must be an initiative for Woman overseas, in less developed countries... She was in total disbelief that this was an issue that Girls and Woman in New Zealand faced. It became clear to me in that moment, that just like most dialogue & discussion around periods and menstruation, this too is a topic that is often hushed or treated as taboo.
The inability to afford sanitary items, to keep yourself clean & comfortable, a lack of access to education around what is happening to your body and why.... Every day, girls and woman are forced to skip work & school, or are having to resort to unhygenic and dangerous items as a replacement to pads or tampons, such as old socks, newspaper and torn up ragged T-shirts. Why? Maybe it's because sanitary items in many ways are still viewed as a "luxury item' with a matching price tag - Rather than an essential? Yes, maybe to some, a few dollars each month is no biggie... But for many Kiwi families, this extra cost can make making ends meet a struggle. Meaning too often, understandably the bread and milk wins, and these items don't make it through the check out.
Ultimately, like all forms of poverty - This has lead to the creation of a poverty gap between Woman with and Woman without.... Creating inequity in schools and the work place, by taking away opportunities and valuable learning and working time, from those who need it most.
Feeling comfortable, clean & healthy is a basic human right. We need to make a change and we need to make it fast.
The solution? Well like most things in life, there is never a 'quick fix', but many hands make light work & enough small acts of kindness, are sure to lead us towards a big change! Recently a bunch of NZ and international businesses have been getting behind this great cause, through a range of donation driven initiatives... And La Luna couldn’t be more excited to be joining the movement!!
As many of you know, La Luna is a social conscious business, with part of our earnings going into a range of charitable passion projects. So, as of February 2019, La Luna's 1st passion project was the release of period poverty care packages, for young woman in schools. These packages include sanitary items, spare underwear, a gentle handcrafted soap, some chocolate OFCOURSE & a little information pack with the need to knows - tips on self care etc. These will be stored in sickbays & classrooms and given out whenever needed.
A little bit extra...
Send us an email if you'd like to receive a free information pack created by La Luna. These come with all of our period poverty care packages, and include basic information for young woman who have just began there first period. These are a perfect resource for Teachers, School Nurses, or Social workers and Councillors...so feel free to take as many as you like!! I have friends who are teachers, who keep them in a desk draw with some sanitary items, and let there students know they can take one if needed... This is nice and easy way to reach out to your students, who may be too scared to ask. We are also always looking for schools to donate packs to, so let us know if your school sickbay would benefit from a donation.
First Period. Link - https://www.ubykotex.com.au/menstruation/first-period
13 Powerful Reasons to Love your Period. (26/09/15).Link - https://redschool.net/13-powerful-reasons-love-period-menstrual-cycle-p