Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 13 October 2022) . . Page.. 3069 ..
of my bill, if passed by this Assembly, represent complementary policies which will go a long way to dealing with the inequality caused by the stigma, lack of access to period products and facilities, and work-life impacts and reproductive health issues.
Before I finish, I would also like to note that this week we saw the International Day of the Girl Child. I would like to see a world where workplace culture is supportive, a world where women and those who menstruate have access to period products when they need them. It would be excellent if we could create a world where every girl knows that, as she grows into adulthood, she will be supported in both her personal and her professional life to manage her reproductive health. The reporting date for progress on the actions within my motion is by May 2023. I commend the motion to the Assembly and look forward to the work that it brings about.
MS CLAY (Ginninderra) (3.16): I would really like to thank Ms Orr, through you, Mr Assistant Speaker Davis, for bringing forward today’s motion. I really congratulate her for advancing women’s rights in this area. She has been doing some great work here and it is really great to see it progressing. We are pleased to see that there is a bit of a menstruation revolution going on in society. People are now openly talking about menstruation and menopause as part of the normal human experience that will affect half of us at some point in our lives. This willingness to reduce the stigma of bleeding simply by making it visible is really becoming mainstream. It is great to see.
Ads were pretty notorious historically. I grew up watching ads that demonstrated pads and tampons using blue liquid. I remember being really confused. I did not know what this blue liquid was. I did not know who these people were. I did not understand quite what was going on. It is really good to see that we have moved a bit beyond that stage where apparently period blood is so horrifying that we cannot even show the colour that it is. We can now actually depict something slightly closer to what goes on, and be more informative. Quite a lot of companies are keeping it real. They are using red, which is great, and a bit of humour.
Educators have made realistic anatomical models to try and demonstrate how menstrual cups work and how menstrual discs work. We are seeing on YouTube and TikTok quite a lot of video demonstrations. Some of these are really fun, and all of them are really informative. This kind of graphically demonstrated peer-to-peer education is something that has never been available on this widespread scale before and it is allowing conversations and de-stigmatisation to permeate society.
I do not have a lot of time to scroll through social media, but I do tend to click when a mate sends me something. There was a TikTok trend recently with men experiencing period pain through a simulator. It was quite entertaining. We had a little look at it in our office today. There is a company in Canada that goes out to various places, hooks people up to a little machine that uses electrical impulses on pads that attach to the skin, and that stimulates muscle contractions. It is meant to show you a little bit of how period pain works.
The ones I have seen online and the one I demonstrated today go up to eight or 10 levels. We see people trying to engage in their normal activities—trying to talk or sell a house or give a speech—while using this machine on different levels. Level 5 is the