How Menstrual Cups Help African Girls by Teya Janelle Posted on July 07, 2017
Menstruation may not sound glamorous at all but menstrual cups make it manageable and somehow comfortable.
Yes, menstruation can be expensive. Imagine having to buy sanitary pads in bulk and use four or five pads a day, depending on your menstrual blood flow.
Women from third world countries may feel that buying sanitary pads can be expensive and opt to buy cheaper brands which can be dangerous to their health since most of these brands use cheaper materials that may cause health risks.
A menstrual cup is a safer and healthier option when it comes to dealing with menstrual blood flow.
It’s made with medical grade silicone which makes it safe and flexible. It collects blood instead of absorbing it.
Most women suffer from infection and irritation when they are using sanitary pads for hours while cups are made from materials that do not contain harmful chemicals.
It can change the lives of African girls. Here are the reasons why:
In Kenya, most unskilled workers earn around $1.50 CAD daily while a pack of sanitary pads cost roughly $1 CAD, which gives an impression that feminine sanitary products are luxurious.
And because menstruation is expensive, women would resort to other cheaper alternatives such as cotton, rags, worn out newspapers or even leaves.
Such alternatives may cause serious infections. Also, they’re uncomfortable, which may be the primary reason why young girls wouldn’t go to school and women not wanting to go to work.
By using menstrual cups, African women can be free from the financial burden of menstruation. They can be free from worrying about spending money on menstrual products. Instead, they only need to get one cup that will last for ten to fifteen years.
2. Less Latrine Breaks
One of the challenges most menstruating African women encounter is the lack of latrines where they can change pads.
If you’re living in a first world country, it’s easy to change pads every hour where you can find public comfort rooms anywhere, especially in big cities.
With a feminine cup that can hold much blood, African girls do not need to worry about the lack of latrines in their communities.
Menstruation cups are leak free and can help them estimate when to empty the cup.
3. School Girls Aren’t Afraid to Go to Schools
While most school girls in cities do not feel the hesitation to go to school unless they’re having severe menstrual cramps, African girls skip school because of their menstruation.
Most girls in Kenya skip their classes because using sanitary pads mean spending money. With menstrual cups, they no longer need to worry about latrines and period leaks.
They can perform better in class because they can feel comfortable and worry free. Through giving them the freedom to be comfortable and hassle free, they can excel in their subjects and continue to be interested in studying.
4. Manageable Period for Working Women
For most women in third world countries, menstruation can be a hassle. For those who are working with minimum pay, getting their period is the last thing that they would want especially if they need to work extra hours to earn more.
Through menstrual cups, women can be safe from infections and other serious illnesses caused by prolonged use of sanitary pads.
It allows them to become effective employees and productive citizens in the society.
Feminine hygiene products aren’t considered priorities in some communities where the economy is poor and food, shelter and clothing are the basic necessities of life, not sanitary pads or panty liners.
But with the help of menstrual cups, Africans can deal with menstruation conveniently. In fact, some non-governmental organizations are accepting donations and distributing menstrual cups to African women.
The cups are also supported by environment enthusiasts who believe that menstruation shouldn’t be all about garbage and disposing of used pads that can harm the environment.