On Thursday 29 July, AFRIpads donated reusable pads and underwear to teenage mothers and girls in Uganda. The donation was in response to the alarming NBS TV news coverage highlighting the rise in Sex for Pads in the Kasese district. AFRIpads partnered with RAHU and National Women’s Council to ensure the donation reached the girls most in need.
The reusable pads were packaged in the new AFRIpads Schoolgirl Kit. This new AFRIpads Menstrual Kit contains five reusable pads in a variety of sizes and two storage pouches.
See Full Press Release below:
800 teenage mothers and girls receive AFRIpads reusable pads and AFRIpads Underwear
On 29 July 2021, over 800 teenage mothers and girls in Kasese, in the Rwenzori Region of South-western Uganda received an annual supply of AFRIpads Menstrual Kits. The distribution, was undertaken by AFRIpads Uganda Limited in partnership with Reach A Hand Uganda (RAHU) and the National Women’s Council (NWC). It was in response to the NBS TV Special Investigation Report on “Sex for Pads,” in Kasese district.
The AFRIpads Foundation providing reusable pads during COVID-19
The AFRIpads Foundation, the charitable arm of AFRIpads, donated 800 Schoolgirl Kits and 800 AFRIpads Underwear to school-aged girls in Kasese. The donation was worth over UGX 24,000,000. Through RAHU’S Kasese District peer educator network, the initiative supported the girls with basic Menstrual Health Hygiene (MHH) training. The NWC offered logistical support and delivered the donation to Kasese from the capital, Kampala.
Gertrude Emojong, National Marketing and Communications Lead, at AFRIpads, said:
“On any single day during this health emergency, 800 million women and girls are menstruating while grappling with the unique challenges posed by a pandemic. When we heard about the increase in women and girls selling sex for pads in Kasese, we felt it was our responsibility as menstrual health advocates to act. We want to ensure that something as basic and essential as menstrual protection is provided.”
“The AFRIpads Schoolgirl Kit has been developed through user-centered design in collaboration with school-aged girls. The kits sole aim is to create a set of reusable pads that best meet the needs and preferences of this age group. We are passionate in enabling girls to overcome menstrual barriers so they can achieve their full potential.”
The distribution of the AFRIpads reusable pads and Underwear took place in 17 Health centers across Uganda.
These districts included:
- Ibuga Refugee Settlement
- Kasese Municipality
Humphrey Nabimanya the CEO and Founder of Reach A Hand Uganda (RAHU) said;
“Our work as key players towards the wellbeing of young women and girls, has to be prevalent now more than ever. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major effect on the lives of vulnerable women and girls.
To get back on track, addressing the fundamental gendered inequalities of the most vulnerable among us. This is especially important with young women and girls in Uganda. Investing in menstrual health and hygiene, addressing menstrual stigma, and supporting sexual and reproductive health and rights of our young women and girls, is a good place to start. This is not just the work of government and civil society alone. We all have a key role to play.”
Hajjat Farida Kibowa, Chairperson, National Women’s Council, said during the donation;
“As a mother and a woman leader of Uganda it’s disheartening to hear that girls lack sanitary towels and perpetrators have taken it as an advantage on their side to violate their rights by offering small money and defiling our young girls.
Lack of sanitary towels and with little knowledge of SRHR has made our girls fall victims of these perpetrators. It has also led to sexually transmitted diseases, early pregnancies and forced marriages. I call upon mothers of Uganda to take note that the lack of sanitary towels is a social risk to our girls. Girls risk being violated and thus they families should indulge themselves in socio – economic activities that can increase household incomes which can help provide needs of the family as sanitary towels to the girls. The women council leaders should take up the role of passing SRHR information to the girls and mothers. We hope this will utilize the women council structures to tap into information for their benefits on social empowerment. This will help reduce the risks of our girls being violated.”
Founded in 2010, AFRIpads is the world’s leading social enterprise manufacturing reusable sanitary pads. We are founded on the belief that if we can overcome menstrual barriers, we are one step closer to gender equality. Our innovative menstrual health and hygiene solution drives life-changing impact through our reusable products, menstrual health education and an evidence-based approach.