By LUCY ORMONDE
Today we want to tell you the story of two women.
These two women live vastly different lives (one lives in Uganda and the other lives in Melbourne) but they also have one very common goal; to provide the women of the world with adequate sanitary hygiene products and reduce the stigma that comes with talking about periods.
The first woman we want to introduce you to is Sophia Klumpp.
Five years ago, Sophia and her partner Paul moved to a small village in Uganda to work on a community development project. The place they were living was poor; there was no running water, no electricity and few means of transportation. It wasn’t long before Sophia started to think about pads and tampons – and what the women of the community were using to manage their monthly periods.
Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Moxie. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words.
“About five months into our time in Uganda we realised that many school-age girls could not afford sanitary pads,” Sophia told Mamamia in a recent interview. “The monthly cost was just too expensive for their families, especially if there were several girls living in the household. For those girls who could afford to buy pads, we realised that access in these remote villages was often the barrier. The little dukkas (village shops) often had irregular, if any, pads in stock,” Sophia says.
Sophia says it was then that she had a light-bulb moment. “It begged questions like, ‘if they couldn’t afford pads, what were women and girls using? And how was this impacting their lives?'” she says.
Sophia and Paul started asking questions around the village and soon found out the (quite astonishing) answer.
“We came to realise that many women and girls rely on makeshift substitutes such as old rags, newspapers, and even leaves to manage their menstrual flow. It should come as no surprise that these materials lead to general discomfort, embarrassing leaks, and even infections,” Sophia says.