OUR SAY: Menstrual cycles aren't just a woman's problem

IT'S almost April and that means it's time to talk about a subject very close to my heart.

April is one of the two months in the year when the charity Share the Dignity actively campaigns for donations.

The donations they need?

Sanitary pads and tampons.

This is something we tend to forget about.

When a woman is escaping domestic violence and has no money, or if she has fallen on tough times and can barely afford food, what is she supposed to do when she gets her period?

Many women are forced to use toilet paper during that time of the month.

It breaks my heart that women are expected to pay so much for an item that really isn't a luxury.

I honestly believe if men had to experience a menstrual cycle, there would be free pads and painkillers in every public bathroom.

I wish charities like Share the Dignity didn't have to exist.

I wish every young girl had free access to pads at school so they are never caught short.

And I wish our government was more concerned about women's bodies and providing assistance to address women's needs.

Instead, they are too busy charging tax on tampons.

We are currently forking out $25 million in GST every year when we pay for tampons.

Until our society is willing to change the way it looks at women's bodies - as a living, breathing, vulnerable person, not commodities - nothing will change.

Many women will still be dreading the start of their periods, having to choose between food or the comfort of knowing their bleeding is contained. And society will still act as though it's just another "women's issue".