Topic: Rereātea - Midday News

More sanitary products for high school girls

By Regan Paranihi
  • Wellington

The Wellington startup company, Dignity, has donated 10,000 pads and tampons to high school girls around the country.

Dignity was founded by Wellington entrepreneurs Jacinta Gulasekharam and Miranda Hitchings two years ago today.

“Dignity came from Miranda and I just hating how expensive they were for ourselves when we were university students and then you think when you are in the workplace and you get caught short that you’re not necessarily near a supermarket or near a dairy or able to go and purchase these items and you know at the pharmacy they might be $8 or $12,” says Gulasekharam.

Since the launch of the initiative, the young duo has managed to provide sanitary packages to 50 schools all around the country.

Hitchings says, “Period sanitary products cost women an average of $15,000 throughout their lives.”

She says the cost for high school students and their families could become a burden resulting in some having to use toilet paper.

“That can lead to traumatic experiences, social anxiety, and in some cases, it can lead to girls skipping school altogether,” says Hitchings.

 Gulasekharam says although Dignity has been working hard to support girls in need for the past 18 months, more needs to be done to better support them in the future.

“I think that there is a greater program that can be rolled out so we’re keen to facilitate that conversation starter next year and have a hui with period poverty providers and those that are helping in this space to actually have a decent chat about what can we do to get rid of this problem once and for all and make sure all schools, not just those on the lower deciles, all schools have access to these items.”

To learn more about Dignity and the work that they do, click here