Roughly half of the female population are of reproductive age. This means that almost 26 percent of the global population menstruate each month for about two to seven days. During this time, these women and young girls face many challenges. Depending on where they are, there are several concerns surrounding the types of unhygienic methods they use which could pose physical health risks and have been linked to reproductive and urinary tract infections as well as urogenital diseases.
According to Statistics South Africa, there has been a growing number of girls aged 10-19 who miss school because they have limited options for affordable menstrual materials such as sanitary products. This 2011 census stated that almost five million girls who miss school during their time of the month fall in the lower income/tax bracket.
Managing periods is a major challenge for those who go through it every month, it is even worse for women and adolescent girls who have limited options for free or affordable menstrual materials. This leaves many with no choice but to use unsanitary and unsafe materials to stop leakages. Having experienced this herself, Lindiwe Nkuna, a woman who hails from the township of Giyani in Limpopo decided to tackle the issue.
Lindiwe started a sanitary production company called Lindiwe Sanitary Pads to provide alternative sanitation products that are affordable without compromising the quality. The company manufactures and distributes sanitary products that are both affordable.
Lindiwe Sanitary Pads is a 100% black female owned company producing sanitary towels and pantyliners that are SABS approved. All of the products are manufactured and produced in a facility that is managed by people who are experts in the sanitary manufacturing industry – making sure that the products are in compliance with the SABS and that quality is not compromised.
When asked about this initiative, Lindiwe explained that she started her sanitary pads brand because she wanted to solve the challenges women and girls face when it comes to menstruation and managing their reproductive health.
Lindiwe’s brand of sanitary pads tackles two of the most important things when it comes to sanitary products, that is affordability and quality. Now, women and girls in the country do not have to compromise on either when it comes to stocking up for Aunt Flo’s visit each month.
Besides this initiative, the Lindiwe Sanitary Pads team is also involved in other humanitarian activities. In May this year, the team launched an initiative in honour of the 1976 youth, with the aim of supporting girls. This initiative was to raise awareness of the struggles of a girl child.
Though normal, menstruation is still stigmatised around the world, we hope to see more women tackling and bringing to light more issues and struggles that women face daily.