Countdown (Woolworths New Zealand) and its supply partners are getting behind efforts by charity The Period Place to level up discussion around periods and raise products and funds with a national appeal.
The cycle-long appeal sees a donation of five cents from the sale of every U By Kotex, Libra, Carefree, Stayfree, Tampax, Oi, TOM, Bonds, Vagisil and Femfresh period product go to The Period Place, with the same suppliers also dipping in by donating a single period product (for example, tampon, sanitary pad, cup, underwear or liner) for every pack sold.
Countdown will also top up the charity with a one-off $20,000 cash donation.
“Now I just need bloody legends across New Zealand to do their shop as normal,” said Danika Revell, founder of The Period Place.
Revell said that Kiwis, young and old, were still not having the conversations around periods that they needed to, and in turn, some people weren’t accessing what they needed.
When Countdown approached her about support, she saw first the power of having her period chat messaging front and centre at its supermarkets up and down the country while also being able to provide the multi-faceted help she offers on the daily to individuals, social services and food banks.
“Starting conversations around periods is high on my agenda, alongside facilitating product to those that need it. This appeal will achieve both.”
Revell continued that Countdown had progressively removed the ‘bad blood’ around period chat. First, by having the word ‘period’ in every Countdown in the country and now dedicating a month to the cause.
Countdown was the first supermarket in the world to change terminology from ‘sanitary products’ and ‘personal hygiene’ to ‘period care’ in 2020 to normalise the language around periods.
Kiwi gynaecologist Dr. Amelia Ryan from the Waitemata District Health Board is pleased the conversation of periods is in the limelight this month. She said that although it seems small, it was a significant step to removing any stigma still associated with periods.
“Open conversations about periods will not only help to remove the stigma for something completely natural but also enable people with periods to identify any problems and confidently seek advice if needed.”
All genders and all ages must be made more aware of periods with reliable information. These conversations will facilitate period-friendly schools and workplaces, create supportive partners and competent and understanding parents, teachers and doctors”, said Ryan.
Danika Revell added that everyone had a part to play.
“Whether you’re starting more conversations about periods or able to help get more period products to people in need by purchasing yours from Countdown over this appeal, it all helps our mahi,” stated Revell.
Danika Revell shared five things New Zealanders should be talking about when it comes to periods.
First, ‘talking about periods’ shouldn’t be something that happens once; it’s an ongoing process throughout different stages of childhood and adulthood.
There is no one way and no right way to have a period; if someone wants to chart their cycle and go with the flow of things naturally or someone else wants to use hormonal contraception not to have a period, both are OK, too.
If something doesn’t feel right, then it’s not right. Revell emphasised that people know when something is wrong with their bodies, no matter what age or gender they are. Revell encourages individuals to speak to someone if something feels off with their menstrual cycle.
Toilet paper is available in every bathroom outside the home, but disposable period products aren’t, and they should be. Revelle said that society accepts bodily functions happen and accepts that outside the home, the cost of taking care of those bodily functions safely and hygienically is shared by everyone in society. Workplaces have toilet paper, cafes and restaurants, public toilets and portaloos. It makes sense that every bathroom outside the home has pads and tampons available, just like it does toilet paper.
Finally, Revell said that everyone can do something to eliminate period stigma in the home by simply grabbing period products out of the drawer and putting them next to the toilet. It’ll mean they are available (for you, those in your home, or guests) to use when needed, and it’ll spark discussions.
The campaign runs in all Countdown supermarkets nationwide until 23 September.