There are some things in life we take totally for granted. Like tampons and sanitary pads. Sure, it sucks that they’re not tax deductible and I find standing in the supermarket or chemist trying to work out what all the packaging means damn challening. But in the scheme of things? Not a problem.
Which is why when this youtube clip came to my computer (thank you Chrissy) I was instantly enthralled and I absolutely could not sign up fast enough.
She28 is an initiative that has been launched by She Innovates to generate discussion and create awareness about women’s lack of access to affordable, eco-friendly, sanitary products and services for menstruation.
According to their website
Millions of girls and women in developing countries miss up to 50 days of school/work per yearbecause they do not have access to affordable sanitary pads when they menstruate. Currently, girls and women in this setting—if they have an option at all—turn to premium priced international brands which are too costly to sustain (e.g., in Rwanda, of the girls who miss school, 36% of them miss because pads are too expensive). Alternatively, they turn to rags which, in combination with a lack of a clean accessible water supply, are unhygienic and potentially harmful, let alone ineffective to contain leakage.
Girls and women are vital to the well-being of their families, communities, and countries and it is important that they have access to education, good health, and jobs. For every dollar a woman earns, she invests 80 cents in her family (as opposed to 30 cents by men). A pivotal study by Goldman Sachs shows that the greater the likelihood for women to work outside the home, the lower the fertility, reduced maternal and child mortality, and better health and education for current and future generations. This, coupled with a Council on Foreign Relations study linking education levels to income earning potential, has driven SHE to do something about this problem!
SHE intends to fulfill girls’ and women’s unmet need by helping local women in developing countries jump-start their own businesses to manufacture and distribute affordable, quality, and eco-friendly sanitary pads. SHE will look to use local raw materials, instead of all imported materials, to ensure affordability and accessibility.
SHE will couple its product innovation with a financially sustainable business model operated and owned by women in the community that can be replicated wherever the need exists. SHE will instigate the launch of a local business by
- Partnering with existing local women’s networks;
- Ensuring a microfinance loan for women who will share start-up costs;
- Training local group in necessary business skills and health and hygiene.
SHE is making quick strides with its first business in Rwanda. SHE looked to Rwanda because of the urgent need for access to low-cost sanitary pads, its well-established networks of women, and additional positive business environmental factors includingincreasing access to capital.
Here is what you can do
- Give $28. Support she. Does your employer have a matching gift program? Contact us to learn more.
- Honor or celebrate a special person in your life with a shetribute gift and support she.
- Break the silence and go viral — share the she28 campaignvideo with everyone you know!
- Get involved and host a she Speaks soiree and build a global community of advocates and supporters. Contact us to learn more.
- Work, live, breathe school? Partner with she Goes to School and lead a she28 campaign and fundraise for a sanitary pad franchise. Contact us to learn more.