South Australia’s largest employer, OTR, is partnering with local social enterprise TABOO and local charity KickStart for Kids in a bid to end period poverty.
From this week, TABOO’s feminine hygiene products will be stocked in 122 OTR sites across regional and metropolitan SA as well as 22 National Pharmacies stores across SA, NSW and VIC.
TABOO donates 100 per cent of net profits from sales of its organic cotton pads and tampons to sanitary health and education projects in developing countries. Its Co-Founders and Co-Directors, Isobel Marshall and Eloise Hall, came up with the idea when they were still in high school and launched the brand in 2017. Before now, TABOO products have only been available online and at IGA Malvern.
OTR Head of Community Partnerships, Joann Skene, was excited to announce the new partnership.
“As a proud South Australian brand, OTR is excited to introduce our customers to a new South Australian brand, TABOO,” she said.
“Additionally, we are thrilled to announce we will help end the cycle of period poverty by providing free TABOO products for South Australian schoolgirls through our OTRGive partner KickStart For Kids.”
“We share TABOO’s passion for providing universal access to sanitary products, empowering women and girls to safely manage their periods, particularly in our own state, where we were disheartened to hear that so many young girls still lacked access to hygiene products,” Joann continued.
“We’ve received brilliant support for our programs from OTR for more than four years now, especially through OTRGive which we’ve been part of since its launch in June 2018,” said KickStart For Kids founder, Ian Steel.
“We welcome this partnership that will give 100 vulnerable South Australian schoolgirls access to feminine hygiene products, which has never been possible before through KickStart for Kids,” Ian concluded.
A recent survey by the SA Commissioner for Children and Young People, Helen Connolly, has said period poverty is rife here in South Australia.
It revealed that one in four students are missing school over a lack of access to feminine hygiene products and 70 per cent of those surveyed had been forced to use toilet paper because products were not supplied, or it was too embarrassing to ask staff for them.
One of the schools whose students will benefit from this partnership is Westport Primary School in Semaphore, where Principal Rebecca Huddy shared, “we greatly value the life-changing service that KickStart for Kids provides to our school and support they give our students every day. Now, for our young girls in greatest need to receive free access to hygiene products means they can feel comfortable attending school every day.”
The team from TABOO are confident that having their products stocked on OTR’s shelves will lead to greater awareness and understanding of period poverty.
“We are so excited to have OTR on board, so that we can continue TABOO’s mission to ensure that women all over the globe have access to safe menstrual hygiene products, as well as the appropriate education to deal with their menstrual health,” said Eloise Hall, Co-Founder and Managing Director of TABOO.
“In Kenya we saw girls dropping out of school because of inadequate menstrual supplies and in India, we saw cultural stigma silencing and shaming girls and women for their natural biology. But period poverty exists in SA too, in many ways, shapes and forms” said Isobel Marshall, Co-Founder and Director of Health and Education
“This is clearly unjust, and there is much work to be done.”
“Girls and women should not be disadvantaged because of their period and we at OTR are thrilled to join the fight for this to change,” Joann concluded.