It’s incredible to think that girls still have to deal with the stigma and the negative effects of poor hygiene associated with period poverty. An astounding 7 million South African girls don’t have access or cannot afford to buy sanitary products, forcing them to turn to socks, rags, newspapers and other unsanitary solutions.
Despite efforts to ensure that sanitary pads are more affordable within South Africa, many women still have to face a difficult choice – food or sanitary products. The first is always the priority, with many choosing to risk infections and leakage instead.
Period poverty often forces many young women to stay home from school, lacking the basic necessities needed to manage their menstrual cycle. This results in countless girls missing an average of 250 days of their high school education, with many dropping out of school. The result? Young women find themselves unemployed and disempowered, allowing the cycle to continue.
This is not a sock is looking to break the cycle by providing Safepads and menstrual health education to 2 000 girls across South Africa. The aim is not only to end period poverty but to provide education around the taboos and myths that menstruation is shrouded in.
According to the organiser of this incredible initiative, Sarah Jacobs, Safepad is a unique reusable sanitary pad that’s designed to provide an “infection free experience.” What makes this sanitary pad one-of-a-kind is that it’s made from durable polyester material and antimicrobial technology, this helps to kill bacteria and fungi even when washed in contaminated water as it disinfects itself.
This is not a sock is partnering with NGOs across South Africa who will help distribute these Safepads (each box contains 4) alongside an informative menstruation booklet that will ensure each girl receives the necessary education on menstrual health and hygiene.
If you’d like to help end period poverty and provide a young woman with the necessary tools to empower herself, make sure you visit their page for more information: https://www.backabuddy.co.za/champion/project/not-a-sock