Wā Collective fight to end period poverty
Period poverty, a stigma that impacts women, is meeting its match.
"We've launched a campaign to end period poverty, period waste and change the way we as a society talk and act about menstruation."
Olie Body, founder of Wā Collective, says they ran a survey of 1000 students recently, and found that 300 students couldn't afford menstrual products.
"Firstly, we found that students were actually skipping class because they couldn't afford access to menstrual products, which is ridiculous. Secondly, it's because we can't, as a society, actually openly talk about this very well."
Body highlights the main barriers to accessing sanitary products.
"Living costs are getting higher and higher in New Zealand, and the fact is, at the moment, we're taxed for something that is a natural part of our body. It is a natural rhythm that should be celebrated."
Body goes on to say that it is important to be able to talk about menstruation.
"If you can't first talk about menstruation, how on earth can you actually begin to tackle the underlying issues of people not being able to or struggling to afford menstrual products?"
Bought to Support campaign
The Wā Collective is running a 'Bought to Support' campaign where students can purchase a subsidised Wā Cup for $15. Body says the campaign is an opportunity to help change perceptions on menstruation through conversation.
"In order to move our perceptions from being something that is viewed as icky and gross and disgusting based on people to celebration is a huge step so right now we are here just to talk about it."
Wā Collective have partnered with three universities so far. They hope to end period poverty in New Zealand.