Why Reusable Pads?
When it comes to Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM), in many developing communities options that are sanitary and affordable are extremely limited, and yet the resulting implications of this lack of access are extraordinarily broad.
Currently, women and girls in Timor-Leste have only two accessible options for menstruation management: disposable pads, or material sewn together called ‘Henna’. Women complain that these methods are often uncomfortable, itchy, and, in the case of Henna, can leak. With a culture of shame already making education and open discussion about menstruation difficult, the waste management system in Timor-Leste is severely lacking and compounding the issue. Women are often left embarrassed as their sanitary products will – regardless of how they are disposed of – end up in the streets, in waterways, in the ocean, or washing up on beaches; in fact, almost 3/4 women surveyed in Dili, Timor-Leste, reported washing their disposable products before throwing them away, wasting indispensable time and resources and perpetuating the stigma.
In addition, the poor disposal of pads creates a significant environmental burden, as pads are composed of around 90% plastic and are resource- and chemically-intensive to produce.
An estimated 500 million women across the globe are unable to access adequate Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) facilities and materials.
In rural Timor-Leste, 55% of women stated that they did not have access to alternative menstrual hygiene solutions to disposable pads (PEV, 2020)
"It’s very, very good. I don’t have problems when menstruating anymore
Maria, on using our menstrual cups, Malawi
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.
Virtual Impact Program4 weeks
January 2021 | January 4 – 29, 2021
- February 2021 | February 1 – 26, 2021
- May 2021 | May 10 – June 4, 2021
- June 2021 | June 7 – July 2, 2021
- July 2021 | June 28 – July 23, 2021
Global Impact Program4 Weeks
Rural Impact Program2 Weeks
- December 2020 | December 7 – 18 2020
- January 2021 | January 4 – 15 2021 & January 18 – 29 2021
- February 2021 | February 1 – 12 2021