A film about menstruation winning an Oscar, the arrival of the period emoji and even a period board game going viral. 2019 has already proven to be an extraordinary year in the fight to crush the stigma which surrounds periods and oppresses those who menstruate across the world.
Despite recent campaigns to end the stigma and taboos surrounding menstruation, internationally harmful misconceptions and taboos continue to lead to the discrimination and isolation of women and girls across the world and therefore more fight is still needed.
Menstruating women continue to be viewed as impure, often forced to isolate themselves from society. Patriarchal control continues to constrain and endanger women and girls from fully participating in their lives, undermining their potential, their agency and their fundamental human rights.
We must recognise that although we see progress those most in danger, those most disadvantaged and those most isolated, remain unheard. We need to recognise that even today, 65% of women in rural Kenya are unable to afford sanitary products and consequently girls as young as 10 are forced to engage in transactional sex in exchange for pads, or drop out of school.Even today, 1 in 10 menstruating people within the UK will at some point experience period poverty. Even today, young students feel unsatisfied with their understanding of menstruation.
At Lilypads we recognise that accessibility goes beyond affordability and we fight every day to eradicate period poverty by providing sustainable and community led solutions.Lilypads operates to ensure that no one is disadvantaged, endangered or isolated due to their period.
We have empowered local women within the Homa Bay county of Kenya to run their own sanitary pad enterprise, selling our reusable sanitary pads and teaching menstrual health education within their communities.
We are working to launch ourselves this year within the UK and expand our reach in Kenya. At Lilypads we strive to ensure that everyone can feel comfortable in their choices.
This International Women’s Day support our Lily Ladies and the work they carry out in their communities to end period poverty and sigma.
This International Women’s Day join our fight to end exploitation. Period.