According to a Human Rights publication in 2019, Older women—those aged 55 and over— was the fastest growing cohort of homeless Australians between 2011 and 2016, increasing by 31%. It is likely this trend will continue given the ongoing shortage of affordable housing, the ageing population and the significant gap in wealth accumulation between men and women across their lifetimes. The recent COVID-19 pandemic will not help the situation as more people face homelessness in the wake of the crisis.
These women’s circumstances vary with respect to their assets, income and capacity to work. A range of preventative, innovative and cost-effective solutions are vital to reduce the risk of homelessness for older women and to ensure that long-term, sustainable options assist the most vulnerable cohorts.
Share the Dignity, a charity bringing dignity to women in need
Access to Sanitary products is a right not a privilege. Periods are a normal part of a woman’s life yet many women in Australia who are in poverty or homeless can’t even afford the basic sanitary needs such as pads and tampons. Can you believe that? Can you accept that?
My guest today couldn’t accept that and actually did something about it. When Rochelle first learnt of homeless women going without basic sanitary items during their menstrual cycle, she decided the question was not, “why is no one doing anything” but rather, “what’s stopping me from doing something?”
I was honored to interview this lovely lady Rochelle,founder of Share the Dignity on my Women Living Well After 50 podcast last week. Rochelle is Share the Dignity’s founder, Managing Director and the title she is most proud of ‘The Pad Lady’. Rochelle has led a team of volunteers collecting around 2.5 million sanitary products across Australia.founder of Share the Dignity on my Women Living Well After 50 podcast last week.
During our interview we discussed the wonderful work she and her team are doing to provide women who are homeless and in poverty with the basic sanitary needs we all take for granted. We also discussed the rising numbers of homeless women, especially in the Over 55 demographic. This is a powerful interview and one not to be missed.
What you can do to help to be part of Women Supporting Women through Share the Dignity
Listen to the Podcast
Watch on YouTube
Take part in one of the fundraising events or donate to the Charity. If you live in Australia you might like to become a Volunteer
Let’s all get behind the Move4Dignity and It’s in the Bag campaigns.
Rochelle Courtenay, Share the Dignity’s founder, Managing Director and the title she is most proud of The‘Pad Lady’. Rochelle has led a team of volunteers collecting around 2.5 million sanitary products across Australia.
When Rochelle first learnt of homeless women going without basic sanitary items during their menstrual cycle, she decided the question was not, “why is no one doing anything” but rather, “what’s stopping me from doing something?”
In March 2015, Rochelle took matters into her own hands collecting sanitary items with her local community and distributing to local shelters. As a result, a simple idea of giving dignity to women, Share the Dignity was created and has grown to a national charity.
Consequently, it has over 5,000 volunteers Australia wide, and most noteworthy, provides multiple initiatives aimed at giving dignity to women.