Let’s change the world with organic tampons, one period at a time
Around the globe, menstruation is a theme surrounded by stigma, superstition, misinformation and poverty.
Why the Stigma?
Unfortunately, across cultures, periods have been associated with something dirty and disgusting and women were told that something that’s leaking and seeping from their body is gross. More than this, religions refer to a woman that is menstruating as being unclean and ask for them to be segregated during their period because of their impurity.
Young women are thought that menstruation is something they should be ashamed of and they have to handle it discreetly. Even the tampons commercials are encouraging the idea of keeping your menstruation private, secret.
This secrecy affects not only the way women feel about menstruation but also how they feel about their body, it also has a great impact on their sexuality and on the way, women understand their reproductive system.
In countries like Iraq, Somalia, Afghanistan young women are often frightened of their first period and they usually believe that something is very wrong with them or that they are about to die. They are shocked and despite the fact they don’t want their daughters to feel the same, they feel too embarrassed to talk with them about menstruation.
Women all over the world go to lengths to hide their period — from concealing tampons and pads at the bottom of their shopping basket, to putting a used pad in their handbag when there is no bin in a bathroom.
This shame and silence are harming women, affecting the way they are able to accept themselves.
People need to understand and accept that menstruation is something normal and women need to know they can benefit greatly from being aware of the highs and lows of their reproductive cycles. Normalizing menstruation as a healthy, positive part of the female life cycle is really important.
Cost and access… still a major problem
There are millions of girls and women around the world who are unable to access the necessary menstrual products, living in poverty and oppression.
According to UNICEF stats, in India just 12% of the women can afford tampons, risking all kinds of infections (menstrual hygiene has been linked to high rates of cervical cancer in India) and in Africa, one in 10 girls doesn’t attend school during menstruation. Every time they have their periods, women miss school or don't go to work. As a result, many girls get low grades, drop out of school for good or get pregnant at very young ages.
According to a 2012 WaterAid survey, 48% of girls in Iran and 10% of girls in India thought menstruation was a disease. UNICEF found that 66% of girls in South Asia didn't know anything about menstruation before their first period.
In Australia, girls in some remote Indigenous communities are stealing sanitary pads and skipping school for several days during their periods. In Bangladesh, infections caused from filthy, contaminated rags are rampant. In certain cultures, such as Nepal, menstruating women are isolated.
Thousands of homeless women face this challenge every month using old socks, clothes, newspaper and even dead leaves to manage their period. This needs to stop.
But how can we fight period poverty?
Speaking about this issue is the first step to combat its silence, and dialogue is always a sure way for innovative solutions to occur. Taboos and the lack of understanding surrounding menstruation continue prevent women from reaching their fullest potential.
Better education and understanding of menstruation are key to improving health outcomes for women.
Our mission is to help these girls succeed by giving them all the tools and information they need to continue their education and their lives. Breaking taboos and creating am open dialogue around menstrual health and comfort, empowering women with organic tampons that are good for their bodies but also for the environment and sharing profits with women in need is what drives our business.
Women need to understand that their vagina matters, the society needs to be more open about the idea of blood coming out of a vagina and the only solution is for us to take action in these directions. Reaching out to all women out there that want to make a difference; refusing to tolerate unacceptable situations for women; making sure our purchases benefit women and the environment.
As long as women live in poverty, society will suffer. We need to change that and we can only do it together, empowering each other.