Women taboos and a solution with a win win effect

The hygiene situation to manage well menstruating has never been good for girls and women living close to the poverty line. But now – with the Covid-19 crises- the challenges get even worse. Often, the financial means are simply not there to buy menstruation pads or similar women hygiene articles. Still, today in many areas, women "issues "and menstruation hygiene are taboo, and there are many superstition and misbeliefs around.

"I never talk about menstruation and my needs for hygiene articles with my husband. I just need to find a solution. An old piece of textile, some paper pieces, also dry leaves… When I was still at school, I didn't go there for two, three days per month. I was so ashamed",, says one of the women in the self-help groups when I asked.

Bad hygiene practices lead to serious health issues

Also, in our Selfhelp groups in Webuye and Eldoret, many women do not know how to solve their monthly needs. Now where it isn't easy to have enough money for food…

That's why we had to find a solution as soon as possible—short term-wise. 

Or the mid- and longterm solution, we have planned training sessions. We will invite experts to work out together, not just a way to guarantee that women have the right means but also the proper knowledge about menstruation and women's hygiene in general.

Wa-Wa, an NGO partner at Lake Victoria producing washable hygiene pads

That's why the idea of "connecting opportunities" started to take off a few days back.

Knowing that the women linked to our NGO partner WAWA at Lake Victoria were producing washable menstruation pads for locals and are also in a difficult situation, we ordered the production of 1800 washable pads.

This created some income for the tailoring women. A hundred pads also were left there for women who are without any money.

More than 1500 pads have been picked up today, packed in a set of three pieces. These pad packs will be transported and handed out to our women in the rural surroundings of Webuye and our women living in Langas slum in Eldoret.

The change also means to empower those in need – in all ways.

In this way, the whole process has created a win to all: to the women at Lake Victoria who produced the washable pads. It could gain some money that will help their families, the women in Webuye, and Eldoret, who can not afford to buy women's hygiene articles to benefit from healthier management of the bleeding. And to the different local NGO partners to collaborate because co-creation means to empower all and to help each other.