Take a moment and imagine you had your period during the weekend but no tampons or pads at hand and no possibility to access any. What would you use to stop the menstrual blood from staining your clothes? Maybe some tissues or toilet paper, possibly some napkins?
But with these improvised solutions, would you have been able to enjoy the past weekend? Probably not. Unfortunately, lack of access to affordable and effective menstrual products is a global problem that forces millions of girls and women worldwide to miss out on educational or income-earning opportunities.
In Uganda, 1 in 2 girls report not attending school during menstruation. In Kenya, the situation is similar. “At least three to four days they miss school every month,” says Benter Oguri from Femme International. She also reports that some women sit the whole day on a pot of sand or flour that absorbs their flow.
Lack of access to menstrual products is keeping young women from achieving their full potential. That’s why this Giving Tuesday we want to encourage you to give a worry-free period to a young struggling to afford safe and healthy menstrual care products. Here are 4 ways to help out:
1. Donate feminine hygiene products to a local shelter
Giving Tuesday encourages you to get active in your local community. We also think that’s a great place to start. Unaffordable period products is a worldwide issue. Last year more than 137,700 girls in the UK missed school because they couldn’t afford sanitary products.
If you have recently switched to a menstrual cup you might still have some packs of pads or tampons at home. Instead of having them go dusty in the back of a bathroom drawer, donate the pads or tampons to a homeless shelter or women’s shelter in your city. Shelters are always in need of menstrual products, as these are items people seldom think about donating.
2. Donate Reusable Menstrual Products with Femme International
When you donate to Femme International, you are providing a girl with opportunity and confidence. Receiving reusable products reduce the financial stress felt every month by women who struggle to purchase pads.
Girls that receive a Femme Kit, which includes a Ruby Cup or a reusable pad, overwhelmingly report improved confidence.
This means they are more comfortable to take part in school and community activities. More confident to answer questions in the classroom. More confident when playing sports and spending time with their friends. Donate here.
3. Help break the bloody taboo by supporting Be Artsy Nepal
In Nepal, many menstruating girls and women are still considered impure and excluded from their homes and social life because of a tradition called Chhaupadi.
Be Artsy, our partner NGO in Nepal is successfully fighting the chhaupadi tradition by providing information on safe menstrual health management and sexual education that aims to eradicate this practice. The project involves the entire community, also men and boys: “We think that education is the only way to change these deeply held beliefs.”, says Founder Clara GO.
Support be artsy’s crowdfunding here. With your support, be artsy will be able to reach another 3000 girls in West Nepal.
4. Give 10 years of worry-free periods with a Ruby Cup
When we donate Ruby Cups to girls without access to safe menstrual care products, we always make sure the menstrual cups donations will actually have a long-term, positive impact for the girls and women receiving them.
From our follow up sessions, we know that 80% of the girls have kept on using their Ruby Cup (read more about that in our annual impact reports.)
Our social impact program is based on sustainable elements made up of four pillars:
1. All participants take part in an educational workshop before receiving their Ruby Cup
2. We make sure it’s possible to set up a sustained support system, should girls have questions about the use of their Ruby Cup.
3. We always aim to involve the whole community in facilitating safer periods for all.
4. The girls or women receiving the menstrual cup have access to facilities that enable a safe use of Ruby Cup
For every Ruby Cup purchased, we always donate another one to someone who struggles with having access to a safe period product. But you don’t need to buy a Ruby Cup for yourself to donate one.
If you want to give a Ruby Cup to a girl in need without receiving one for yourself, you can do so here.
Watch Ruby Cup Ambassador and former Ruby Cup Trainer Rachel Mwikali explain how Ruby Cup donations really make a difference:
Happy Giving Tuesday, dear Rubies!