Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

Women helping women:

How would you feel if you had to ask a strange man for a sanitary product & you were given one or two at a time?
By Motherpedia
Date: January 07 2014
Editor Rating:
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Photo courtesy of The Australian

Women seeking asylum in Australian detention centres are reportedly being forced to ask security guards for sanitary products which are then only provided one or two at a time.

Spokeswoman for the online women’s community, Destroy the Joint, Jennie Hill has called on women across Australia to show support for women asylum seekers in detention.

“We know women are being treated poorly in detention. I most recently saw a case when a woman was not permitted to see her child lying ill in hospital and pregnant women seeking medical treatment were denied assistance and told to ‘lower their expectations’,” Ms Hill said. 

“Now we have all been shocked to learn that pads and tampons are being handed out one by one and women have to ask, primarily male, guards for them every time they need them. 

“I can’t fathom a possible reason for this apart from a clear desire to humiliate women who are fleeing persecution and seeking asylum in our country. 

“This is a terrible way to treat any woman but made worse when you consider what many of these women have endured to get here. 

“Many are from countries where menstruation is never spoken of and so having to ask, repeatedly, for sanitary products is difficult and highly embarrassing.”

Ms Hill said Destroy the Joint supporters have expressed their outrage at this practice and are rallying to support women in detention to demand some basic human rights and call for an end to practices that humiliate.

Destroy the Jointis asking Australian women to send a message to Immigration Minister Scott Morrison by posting an unused women’s sanitary product to him each month.

“This is to help send a message that Australian women will not tolerate such appalling behaviour from their government,” said Ms Hill. 

“The first thing Scott Morrison can do is ensure all those who need sanitary products get them in good supply, whenever they need it without having to ask a guard.

“Our understanding is that SERCO, the contractor which runs the centres, is funded to supply sanitary products so this is not about a shortage of supplies. It is simply about providing women in detention a level of dignity and respect.

“We are encouraging women across Australia to get involved and support the action.” 

* * *

Find out more at this Facebook page. Destroy the Joint is an online community of almost 40,000 people that fights for gender equality and represents the interests of women. 

Scott Morrison’s addresses are:

Hon Scott Morrison, MP

Minister for Immigration & Border Protection

Parliament House



Hon Scott Morrison, MP

Minister for Immigration & Border Protection

Suite 102, Level 1

30 The Kingsway


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