Low Cost, Eco-Friendly Disposable Sanitary Towel Project
Over half of Kenyan women and girls were unable to afford disposable sanitary towels. Many opt for materials such as torn cloth, paper, socks in place of sanitary towels.The Journal of Women’s Health (2015) established that 2/3 women in rural Kenya receive menstrual hygiene materials from sexual partners likely increasing their vulnerability to sexual exploitation and violence. 10% of girls under the age of 15 years depended on self-made sanitary pads, owing to the steep prices of better options. The lack of menstrual products often stops girls from going to school when they have their periods.Access to sanitary towels is a human rights issue and should be addressed seriously and comprehensively if we are to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).An even bigger challenge lays in menstrual hygiene education which is a ‘taboo’ topic in many families and communities’ socio-culturally.There is need to break this loud silence about it first in order to be in an advantaged position to help girls and women access sanitary towels.
This Project proposes a Social Enterprise of making Disposable, Eco-Friendly, and Low-Cost Sanitary Towel that would restore dignity of menstruation, increase quality of life and enable girls and young women complete their education. The proceeds of the social enterprise will sustainably provide the financing needed to provide the comprehensive package of interventions that would ensure that child mothers go back to school and stay there. For those who will not be able to go back to school for whatever reason, there will be ready employment and on-the-job training for them within the value chain functions of the social enterprise. The eco-friendly product will be made from ‘Bamboo’ as one of the main ingredients replacing cotton and make it cheaper thus affordability and access and also be safe for the environment thus safe and sustainable cities and communities. The Foundation will partner with a local University to conduct rapid research on suitability and efficacy of ‘Bamboo’.