Disruption of education. Sickness. Curses brought onto the family. Anxiety. Fear. Death… These are a few of the actual and believed consequences of cultural taboos and lack of education in the developing world surrounding something as natural as… a woman’s menstrual cycle.
This is unacceptable. It’s time for a REVOLUTION.
Together, let’s break the stigmas and empower women around the globe so they can be confident, knowledgeable and healthy.
Read on to learn about how we are changing the world of girls and women in developing nations through a successful partnership with Ruby Cup, a company that is making a world of difference.
Menstruation is a universal experience among women. Despite this worldwide prevalence, it is also a globally stigmatized issue – a topic of embarrassment that people prefer to disregard. Around the world, different cultures have adopted harmful and dangerous beliefs and practices surrounding menstruation. Consequently, there is a disturbing lack of health education resources available to young women (and men) about the menstrual cycle. As a direct result, this lack of knowledge continues harmful myths and taboos that isolate and shame women during their monthly cycles.
Cultural Taboos Surrounding Menstruation around the World
Our solution to these longstanding and deep-rooted problems is actually quite simple. We are utilizing a grassroots educational approach – having local women provide local girls and women with menstruation education and donated menstrual cups.
Nepal & Ghana
Khanidanda, a village in the municipality of Waling in the Syangja District of Nepal and Bongo District, Upper East Region, Ghana
Our Project Partners
Located in Nepal & Ghana
Shree Saraswati Secondary School & ASIGE
Local Teachers and an American Peace Corps Volunteer in the Shree Saraswati Secondary School in Nepal and Dorcas Asige Apoore of ASIGE: Advocacy for Social Inclusion and Girls Education in Ghana
Frequently Asked Questions:
A menstrual cup is long-lasting, eco-friendly silicone alternative to tampons or sanitary pads. This small, flexible cup is made of medical grade silicone and eliminates the need for frequent changing. Instead of absorbing your flow, like other menstrual products, it catches and collects it. Each cup is reusable and can be used for ten years straight, obviating the expense and waste incurred by other methods. This hygienic, easy, and comfortable way to manage cycles might also make it easier for girls and women to avoid the dangers, embarrassment and hindrances of current cultural norms.
Absolutely! Due to their eco-friendly, cost-saving, healthy and comfortable nature, menstrual cups are taking off all over the world, especially in developed nations.
Tampons and pads are disposables. They’re only meant to be used one time, and then they are thrown away. They take up a lot of space in landfills and are a big component of pollution. The average woman uses over 11,000 tampons over her lifetime, leaving behind residue far beyond her lifespan, especially when they’re wrapped up in plastic. Feminine hygiene waste can take centuries to biodegrade! Menstrual cups are made from silicone, a material that comes from silica, a type of sand, and when it slowly degrades it returns to it’s original state which isn’t hazardous to the environment. They also have a long, reusable lifespan. Menstrual cups can be used, cleaned, and re-used for an average of 10 years before they need to be replaced.
Menstrual cups are widely available in the online marketplace, though we particularly love Ruby Cup, because of their social-conscious, world-changing business model which donates cups to projects like ours in the developing world through their buy-one-give-one model. Check them out here.
The biggest way that you can help is to support Ruby Cup’s Buy One, Give One program by ordering your own menstrual cup! This allows them to work with organizations like us to get rid of terrible menstrual stereotypes.
Photo credits: Thank you to Zachary Williams from www.orphanednation.com for his excellent photos of our teachers and beneficiaries in Nepal!