FIGHTING MENSTRUAL POVERTY IN KENYA
Menstrual poverty is a global problem that affects women around the world. In Kenya, it has two dimensions. First - many women cannot afford to buy sanitary pads. Second - the sanitary pads are simply not there.
Formative research shows that girls face monthly challenges, with 65% of women and girls in Kenya unable to afford sanitary pads. Only 50% of girls say that they openly discuss menstruation at home. Just 32% of rural schools have a private place for girls to change their menstrual product. And only 12% of girls in Kenya would be comfortable receiving the information from their mother.
Lack of hygiene products can make you feel deeply ashamed and embarrassed
In Kenya, in rural areas, many girls use unsanitary forms of protection such as sand, feathers and grass leafs causing infections and painful sores more than once.
Lack of proper education around menstruation makes some girls exchange dirty sanitary pads and some even to engage in sexual intercourse to buy basic hygiene products to fight for their future. In rural Kenya, 2 out of 3 pad users receive pads from sexual partners. Period poverty is so prevalent in Kenya that 10% of 15-year-old girls were having sex to pay for period products. Period poverty contributes to global and regional gender inequity, as women are forced to solicit help from men in order to satisfy a basic health need.Menstruation for Kenyan women starts as early as age 6-7.
Many young girls in Kenya, who do not have access to safe, hygienic products stay at home throughout the cycle, with huge consequences, such as expulsion from school, early pregnancy, or the subsequent lack of earnings.
On an average female students miss on 20% of the school year, because they are on their period. It is estimated that about 1 million women miss school per month.
Another important aspect is the correct disposal of pads. Conventional disposable sanitary pads are 90% plastic. ... If we consider the additional materials, such as packaging, plastic wings, adhesives and super absorbent gels (plastic) – each pad contains the equivalent of four plastic bags (about 2 grams of non-biodegradable plastic) An average sanitary pad can take up to 700 years to decompose. In Kenya, young girls bury dirty sanitary pads as there is no way to dispose of them properly.
The Covid-19 pandemic has compounded inequalities and worsened violence against women and girls. With job losses and cutbacks reported across most sectors of the economy, many women and girls have been left unable to meet their hygiene needs. A gender rapid assessment of the Covid-19 pandemic in Kenya conducted by UNFPA, UN Women, CARE International and Oxfam has revealed that over 90 percent of women and girls have reported a decrease or no access to menstrual hygiene products.
Sewing Together reached out to Polish fashion houses seeking for help.
From their offcuts - we make pads !
All in a spirit of sustainable - zero waste fashion.
However, to make a pad we still need material like bamboo towel (350 KSH / 1m ) , press studs ( 15KS each ) , waterproof lawyer ( 200 KSH / 1m ), which costs a lot of money in Kenya.
Please help up by purchasing our PIN ,
which profit goes towards making pads in Kenya.
Asante Sana !
MAKE A DIFFERENCE AND TRY OUR REUSABLE PADS YOURSELF !
AND DON'T FORGET YOU ARE NOT ONLY HELPING THE ENVIRONMENT
BUT AS WELL WOMEN IN KENYA AS ALL PROCEEDS ARE DONATED TO MAKE PADS IN MOMBASA WORKSHOP.