Unable to afford or access proper menstrual products, many girls and women rely on crude, improvised materials like scraps of old clothing, pieces of foam mattress, toilet paper, leaves, and banana fibres to manage their menstruation – all of which are unhygienic, ineffective, and uncomfortable. This is hardly what we would consider a “solution”.
Faced with frequent, embarrassing leaks and a susceptibility to recurrent infections, the impact is that millions of girls and women experience their monthly period as something that prevents them from engaging in daily life – whether this is going to school or work, or carrying out their normal domestic responsibilities.
“1 out of 10 African schoolgirls skips school or drops out of school”
No more ‘week of shame’
AFRIpads exists because we believe menstruation should not be a barrier for any woman, anywhere. Women are the backbone of our societies and they deserve access to safe and dignified solutions to managing their periods, and the freedom to rise to their dreams and achieve their true potential.
With over 750,000 AFRIpads Menstrual Kits sold and counting, AFRIpads has demonstrated how our simple product innovation is helping hundreds of thousands of women and girls live more hygienic, comfortable and productive lives.
Spotlight on schoolgirls
1 out of 10 African schoolgirls skips school or drops out of school entirely due to a lack of menstrual products and poor access to proper sanitation, according to UNICEF. This critical unavailability of sanitary products in developing countries is a major barrier to education for girls of school-going age. The inability to effectively manage menstruation contributes to absences of up to 4-5 school days each month, equating to as much as 20% of the academic year intentionally skipped, simply due to menstruation. Eventually many of these girls drop out of school entirely, increasing their likelihood of teen pregnancy health complications and early marriage, and further limiting their future career and economic opportunities.