she28: Sustainable Sanitary Products Empower Women in the Developing World

Big Think

Maria Popova on November 12, 2010, 3:43 PM

Every year, millions of girls and women in the developing world miss up to 50 school and work because they are menstruating and lack access to the proper sanitary products, which puts them at a severe learning and earning disadvantage. Sustainable Health Enterprises (SHE) tackles the issue with an innovative market-based solution, countering the long-term inefficiency of the traditional aid model based on donations. They are developing a line of feminine hygiene products using sustainable raw materials like locally-sourced banana fiber and partnering with existing local women’s networks for distribution.

Their she28 campaign aims to address the scarcity of affordable, eco-friendly, sanitary products and services for menstruation in the developing world by investing in woman-led and operated businesses in. Each microfinance loan to a female-run business creates roughly 100 jobs and gives 100,000 girls and women access to affordable sanitary pads. Just 12 such franchises could reach a million girls and women.

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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.