Empowering period care

Eloise Hall, TABOO
Australia has seen significant strides in the global movement toward menstrual equity, and TABOO has been at the forefront of this battle. As a social enterprise with a mission-driven approach, TABOO is a beacon of hope and advocacy for those affected by period poverty.

With a passionate commitment to empowering communities and eradicating period poverty, TABOO continues to break barriers and pave the way for a more equitable, inclusive society. We chat with TABOO co-founder Eloise Hall about what’s in the pipeline for the TABOO mission.  

Q: What role do you see TABOO playing in the broader conversation around menstrual health and period poverty?

The first role TABOO plays in this space is encouraging the provision of product. Our rule of thumb is that wherever there is toilet paper, there should also be period products. This practically means we’re encouraging workplaces, schools, venues, and governments to provide product in the same way toilet paper is made available.

We also want to improve Australia’s understanding of menstrual health care. This includes improved public health messaging, and greater knowledge of the female hormonal cycle, for example, better understanding the seasons of ovulation, menses etc. This knowledge is both empowering and practical, especially for athletes and people who want to understand their overall health better.

Q: Can you share more about TABOO’s ‘PAD IT FORWARD’ program and its impact on communities?

A: Pad it Forward (PIF) is a pay-it-forward model program where people can buy TABOO period products on behalf of someone at risk of or experiencing period poverty in Australia. We work closely with our community partners, including domestic and family violence services, homelessness services, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services and organisations, youth organisations and women’s support services. Since November 2020, TABOO has donated 4,843 boxes of pads and tampons to people at risk of period poverty around Australia.

Q. What motivated TABOO to lobby the South Australian government for period products in schools, and what was the outcome?

A: We believe everyone deserves equal access to opportunity, especially our young people. Many families are doing it tough and as a result, young girls have risked their education by skipping school because they do not have easy access to period products.

We worked with the department of education to introduce a provision for period products in schools which came into action in 2021. There is a huge amount of progress to still be made as many girls still go to school not knowing they can ask for a free pad or tampon.

We believe period products should be as accessible as toilet paper. Free to take when you need because it’s a practical support allowing you to continue with your day. 

Currently, 1 in 5 young girls in Australia are missing out on school because they can’t afford or access period products.

Q: Can you share any exciting plans to come?

A: The launch of the TABOO Foundation means we can make a greater, National impact for the lives of people who are often systematically overlooked. We are eager to work with more partners and deliver a high-quality service of period products and menstrual health education. We even have the ambitious goal to end period poverty in Australia by the year 2030! Please join us on this venture!

Hero image credit: Flashpoint Lab

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