In the time of too many plastics and environmental damage also hygiene articles such as pampers and sanitary pads should be questioned. New products are a must.
Although the motivation for alternative products might be a different one in Emerging countries compared to the big discussions in the rich countries, the result might go in the same direction. It seems that due to the visible, tangible need there are even many more disruptive ideas and concrete activities are ongoing in countries such as Kenya.
Several times in the last three weeks I have come across small startups, micro enterprises and Self- help groups of women in rural and urban Kenya who were focusing on menstrocups , washable sanitary pads and specific menstruation panties.
Also in Homa Bay I visited such a group.
“We produce washable sanitary pads since years, because our girls need solutions. We are a group of mothers, all volunteers. We come together and produce them. The price for 5 pieces is 300 KES. But they last for at least a year,” tells me the leader of the group.
“But many still struggle to buy it. Knowing that the daily income is around 200 KES it is understandable. But the materials and a very small margin of profit are needed.” She is a 67 year old teacher. In her working group there is also a physically challenged person. But I realize that only much later when we have dinner together. Inclusion is not a real issue here. It’s normal. Every women is part of the whole. What a great leadership!
Recently, a girl committed suicide when the teacher insulted her at school when she was bleeding. This happens several times. Many girls don’t go to school when the have their period. They are ashamed and don’t know what to do. Or know, but have no means at all to handle it.
What world is this?
Are we still so blind, so stupid and so unable to cover some basic human needs? In some other parts of the world we buy and buy and can’t get enough. And we are not even happy with all the products around us and here young girls suicide because they and their families cannot afford an additional amount of 3 EUR per year…