The Dawn Chorus

Fresh Australian Feminism

You Can’t Go To School With Your Period!

Posted by Cate on August 19, 2008

Imagine missing about a week of school (or work) a month because you have your period.

In many areas of the world, access to adequate menstrual supplies is difficult to come by. Many women and girls rely on rags, newspaper, camel skin or nothing at all for their menstrual needs. A lack of sanitary pads can be a big barrier to a girl’s education.

I was recently told about Good 4 Girls a non-profit organisation who seek out donors to sew or purchase new, reusable menstrual pads for donations to areas of Africa where these products are needed most, such as schools and refugee camps in Sudan and Kenya.

Providing reusable supplies not only provides a more environmentally friendly alternative for these young women (in areas of adequate water supply for washing), it reduces their dependence on outside aid organizations to continue providing for their monthly needs.

The Dawn Chorus thinks this is a fabulous, pragmatic initiative and we want to help. I’m currently organising a sewing-bee to make a stack of reusable pads to be donated. Can’t sew? Maybe you can cut out patterns or iron seams or something. Or perhaps you’d like to donate some fabric (cotton flannelette) and thread?

In case you have no real idea what I am talking about in regard to a cloth pad, this is one example of a cloth pad from Health Home and Happiness.

If you would like to get involved and join the sewing bee (the first one will be at Chez Cate in early September in Melbourne), feel free to send an email to me: ms.cate [AT] . At some stage I will design a flyer with all the relevant details.


3 Responses to “You Can’t Go To School With Your Period!”

  1. Sally said

    Are you ladies aware of this product?
    I have never understood why it is so neglected?
    Obviously, it’s not as ‘convenient’ for the user – not to mention that would kill the ‘feminine product’ industry – so I can understand why it’s struggling for recognition in the western world. But *why* isn’t it on offer to women in 3rd world conditions? WIth a little practise, it’s easy to use; it’s *very* environmentally friendly; it’s worn inside the body (eliminating odour); and it uses a lot less liquid (water?) to clean it than a reuseable pad.
    EVERY environmentally conscious women should be using these … other upsides: we’d regain control of our own bodies; condescending feminine product ads would (eventually) cease; and male owners of femine product corporations would no longer profit from our natural bodily function.

  2. audrey said

    Sally, the real question is why it’s so damn impossible to find one of these in Australia. Ordering them from the UK or America ends up being pretty expensive.

    I would buy one in a second but I’m just going to wait until I go to the states in a couple of months.

  3. sarah said

    just a thought with the menstrual cups – are the conditions really suitable for the use of these – do they have access to rather clean water to 1- clean it and 2- clean their hands before inserting the cup??

    cause the last thing you wanna be doing is introducing the nasties on you hands or exterior of your body to that particular part of the body

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