Taboo launches mission to end period poverty by 2030

Social enterprise and sanitary product provider Taboo has launched a charitable foundation aimed at ending period poverty in Australia by 2030.

May 28, 2024, updated May 28, 2024
Taboo period products are stocked in more than 300 retail outlets around South Australia. Photo: Supplied / Tess Newton

Taboo period products are stocked in more than 300 retail outlets around South Australia. Photo: Supplied / Tess Newton

Founded in 2017 by InDaily 40 Under 40 alumni Eloise Hall and 2021 Young Australian of the Year Isobel Marshall, Taboo has distributed over 5500 boxes of period products through their Pad it Forward program, which allows people to purchase products on behalf of someone experiencing period poverty.

With The Taboo Foundation’s charity status, tax-deductible donations can now be made to go towards community projects.

“Despite our efforts, rising living costs, amongst other factors, have exacerbated period poverty in Australia,” Taboo co-founder and CEO Eloise Hall said.

“Currently, one in five people who menstruate struggle to access period products and menstrual health education.”

Share The Dignity’s 2021 Bloody Big Survey found that out of over 125,000 respondents, one in five menstruators had to use improvised options, like sponges, socks, or toilet paper, due to the cost of sanitary products.

Forty per cent of people changed to a less suitable sanitary product due to cost, and 49 per cent wore a tampon or pad for over four hours because they could not access a replacement.

Of respondents who reported they had been unable to afford period products, 10 per cent were university and TAFE students, with 17 per cent of South Australian respondents saying they had been unable to afford the products at some point.

The report estimated with 12 periods a year between the ages of 12 and 50, at an average of $20 a month in products, people who menstruate are set back around $10,080 in their lifetime.

The Taboo Foundation’s inaugural board includes Rebecca Plummer, Briony Marshall, Alexandra MGee, Nawal Church, Sonia Mascolo and Eloise Hall. Photo: supplied

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The Taboo Foundation hopes to improve these statistics, prioritising the provision of “culturally safe, sustainable, and reliable access to period products” to people around Australia who otherwise cannot access them.

Education and awareness, as well as further research into period poverty, will all be funded through the foundation,

“We believe everyone deserves access to equal opportunity, and lack of menstrual health care is a limiting experience for many,” Hall said.

“Together, we can rewrite the narrative of period poverty in Australia. Your generosity can transform lives, restore dignity, and create a future where menstruation is never a barrier to good health and equal opportunity.”

Launched today in recognition of World Menstrual Hygiene Day, the foundation hopes to raise $100,000 to kick start the improvement of menstrual health care outcomes in Australia.

The Taboo Foundation chair Rebecca Plummer said the launch marked a “major milestone in the fight to end period poverty across Australia”.

“Menstrual health is not a luxury – it’s a basic human right,” Plummer said.

“With the generous support of donors and our dedicated team, we will implement sustainable solutions to uplift communities and ensure every Australian has the menstrual health resources they need to thrive.”

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