Innovation That Matters

WomenChoice provides menstruators in sub-Saharan Africa with information and affordable products | Photo source WomenChoice Industries

A social enterprise promotes affordable menstrual hygiene

Health & Wellbeing

The organisation produces and distributes a range of menstrual products, provides information on menstrual hygiene, and combats period taboos

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Spotted: Studies have shown that girls in sub-Saharan Africa miss up to 20 per cent of school days each year due to period-related complications. And the current COVID-19 pandemic has hit menstruators particularly hard, exacerbating period poverty in the region. Against this backdrop, access to affordable menstrual products is more important than ever.

This is where Tanzanian social enterprise WomenChoice comes in, with its mission to ensure that women and girls in Africa stop managing their period with unhygienic materials. The organisation offers reusable sanitary towels and tampons, as well as additional hygiene products such as breast pads, child and adult diapers, and vomit kits. These are all low cost to ensure they are affordable for everyone.

An important part of WomenChoice’s approach is its distribution model. The enterprise empowers socially disadvantaged young women and girls by employing them as vendors and sales agents who earn 10 per cent royalties for the products they sell.

In addition to producing and distributing affordable products, WomenChoice also provides information on menstruation. This includes training on menstrual hygiene and programmes that tackle period taboos, myths, and superstitions.

Menstrual hygiene is an important topic around the world and Springwise has spotted several innovations helping menstruators manage their periods. These include a reusable sanitary pad and cleaning device for those living in refugee camps and plant-based period products that help those that suffer from cramps.



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