Of all women currently living under $2/day,
almost a quarter are schoolgirls of menstrual age.
For many of them, menstruation poses serious challenges to their ability to attend and participate in school, perform routine tasks, and go about their daily lives free from embarrassment or shame.
What happens when we ignore
their needs and aspirations?
A negative chain reaction
exclusion AND SOCIAL isolation
Without proper menstrual management, girls are sometimes forced to choose between using unhygienic practices or being confined to their homes.
Widening OF the gender gap IN EDUCATION
When a girl misses several days of school each month, she quickly falls behind and is more likely to drop out entirely.
Investing in the education of girls not only benefits the individual but has staggering benefits
for the community. Studies show that when more girls go to school a country's GDP increases.
More importantly, girls and women spend 90% of their earned income on their families.
Life without choices
Lack of education means lost opportunities and increased health risks.
Girls are often reduced to a life of dependency, forced into marriage
and childbirth when they themselves are still children.
UNICEF estimates that more than 140 million girls will marry between 2011 and 2020.
Girls that marry young are more vulnerable to intimate partner violence and sexual abuse
than those who marry later, and complications of pregnancy and childbirth are
the leading cause of death in young women aged 15-19.
What are the barriers
to proper menstrual management?
POOR QUALITY AND PERFORMANCE
Many reusable menstrual products are difficult to clean, which is exacerbated when access to water is limited.
Long drying times result in mildew and bacterial growth; and leaks and staining on clothes are common due to lack of waterproofing.
Cost prohibitive generic solutions
Disposable pads offer one-time use at an often inaccessible price while
contributing to the growing global problem of solid waste accumulation.
Social and gender practices are limiting factors that prevent many girls
from accessing menstrual management materials even when families can afford them.
Generic menstrual hygiene products contribute to a growing problem
Massive generation of waste
Every year, approximately 20 billion disposable pads, tampons & applicators are sent to landfills in the U.S. alone.
To put this in perspective, each of the approximately 73 million menstruating women in the US will throw away 125 to 150kg of disposable menstrual products, or approximately 16,800 conventional pads or tampons, in their lifetime.
That is equivalent to 3 king size mattresses!
Hundreds of years to biodegrade
It takes 500 to 800 years for a disposable sanitary pad to break down in a landfill. The problem is aggravated when disposables are wrapped in plastic bags. In fact, every piece of plastic ever made, still exists to this day!
Harm your body
Generic disposable alternatives often contain added perfumes and chemicals that may unnecessarily put a girl's developing body at risk.