Female Sanitation | Menstrual Cups

Empowering women and girls through safe sanitation practices and access to education and opportunities, using reusable and hygienic menstrual cups

Why Menstrual Cups?

From gender equality and economic empowerment to environmental sustainability and tackling climate change, access to Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) is more than a health issue – it’s a global challenge with world-changing potential.

In Malawi, women and girls face a myriad of barriers to safely managing their menstruation. Expensive products lead to many resorting to using rags from old clothes, newspaper, or plastic instead, which can lead to preventable infection and disease. Further, the stigma and discomfort of using rags means that fewer women work or attend school during their period, with the culture of shame making education and conversations about menstruation management very difficult.

Beyond the health risks, the negative impacts are directly correlated to educational and economic losses. Poor MHM sees millions of girls dropping out of secondary school annually, barriers to women entering the workforce, increases in child marriages, and billions lost in potential GDP.

An estimated 500 million women across the globe are unable to access adequate Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) facilities and materials. (UN, 2020)

1.25 billion women and girls have no access to a safe, private toilet and 526 million don’t have a toilet at all (UN, 2020)

One in ten girls in Africa will miss school when they have their periods because they don’t have access to sanitary products or private toilets to use at school. Some girls miss as much as 20% of their school year (Action Aid, 2020)

What we are doing

Working closely with local partners and community groups in Malawi, we are enabling access to an affordable, comfortable, reusable, and discrete solution for menstrual management – the menstrual cup in partnership with Sirona.

A safe and hygiene alternative to rags and newspapers, the menstrual cups are also significantly more environmentally friendly than disposable pads and tampons. The cups last 10 years meaning significant cost savings compared with disposable pads.

In Malawi, we’re also building a sustainable business model by employing local sales agents and partners, as well as exploring payment plan options to overcome further economic barriers to access, expanding the reach of the solution and many benefits.

 

 

What it Addresses

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Goal 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation

Targets:

6.2 – By 2030, achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations

Goal 5 - Gender inequality

Targets:

5.6 Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health
Providing women and girls with equal access to education, health care, decent work, and representation in political and economic decision-making processes will fuel sustainable economies and benefit societies and humanity at large.

Goal 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production

Targets:

12.5 By 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse
12.8 By 2030, ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature

"It’s very, very good. I don’t have problems when menstruating anymore

I am very happy!…I can even go to work or church without having problems – I can do everything!”
Maria, on using our menstrual cups, Malawi

Impact Programs

How to Get involved

Connecting young change-makers and technology partners you will be testing social enterprise solutions in real-world contexts at the very early stages. This is an opportunity to deeply understand our community members and work with them to develop a meaningful social impact.  

 

Get Involved

We believe that tackling global issues won’t be achieved by doing what’s always been done before…are you up for the challenge?

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