A simple, common, and yet largely ignored reason that girls are frequently absent from school and women from work in developing countries—up to 50 days per year—is that there is a lack of access to affordable menstrual pads. Girls and women in this setting turn to either premium priced international brands, which are too costly to sustain, or alternative methods such as rags which, in combination with a lack of a clean and accessible water supply, are unhygienic and potentially harmful. This harms entire communities as girls’ education and women’s economic success improves overall family welfare.
she28 aims to provide affordable, quality, eco-friendly menstrual pads for women. Rather than a donation-only approach, she28 enables individuals to develop the capacity to improve their own and their families’ circumstances through entrepreneurship, technology transfer and access to finance. she28 has already equipped 50 community health workers with simple business skills so they can start their own distribution business selling pads.
For every women-led and a operated business that the organization behind she28 invests in, approximately 100 jobs are created and approximately 100,000 girls and women will gain access to affordable sanitary pads. Multiply this by 12 franchises, and 1200 jobs will be created reaching one million girls and women.
Elizabeth Scharpf - United States of America and Julian Ingabire Kayibanda - Rwanda