“Women's issues are society's issues. They don't just belong to women.”
Rochelle Courtenay - Founder, Share the Dignity
Queensland-based Rochelle Courtenay read an article almost 3 years ago that changed her path. Rochelle was floored to read that homeless women in Australia had zero access to sanitary items. She decided to change this. Starting with collecting sanitary items and distributing them in her community. Since this time, her actions have evolved into a nationwide charity, Share the Dignity, which distributes thousands of sanitary products to women in need across the country.
Why did you start Share the Dignity?
I read an article on Mamma Mia about how hard it is for homeless women to manage their periods. I was horrified, it was something I’d never even thought about. I took managing my period for granted, and just assumed others did. My first thought was someone should do something about this. Then I realised that someone was me.
You see confronting issues of homelessness and domestic violence in doing your work. How do remain positive and focused on your mission?
I stay positive and focused my mission because the reasons behind why I do what I do is so very important. Access to sanitary items should be a right not a privilege.
How do you measure the impact of your work with Share the Dignity?
The impact of the work by Share the Dignity is measured by meeting the charity needs of those helping girls and women around Australia. The over 20% increase in women and girls needing help last year is seeing us with a challenge to continue to help end period poverty in Australia.