2% of $40,000 goal
The Compass is leading an initiative to provide 10,000 women with reusable feminine hygiene products to conquer poverty, gender inequality, and to promote sustainability. Just $4 provides one woman with reusable pads for a year, and $10 provides one woman with a menstrual cup that lasts 10 years.
We are partnered as an initiative with the University of Missouri - Columbia's Brady & Anne Deaton Institute for University Leadership in International Development. Our work is seeking to serve Femme International's Twaweza Program and the Grevy's Zebra Trust's Nkirreten Project to benefit women in East Africa.
In Kenya, 65% of menstruators are unable to afford basic sanitary products for their periods. As a result, 1 million girls have to miss school each month due to period poverty, 1 in 10 girls have engaged in transactional sex to obtain pads, and 2/3 of rural women receive pads from sexual partners.
In some of the regions we are focusing on, such as the Samburu region of Kenya, many tribal women don't have a word for "period" in their language (Maa), and use leaves while on their period since they've never had access to menstrual products. Some will pretend to be sick for a week, and many are beaten by their husbands since menstruation is highly stigmatized.
Similarly, research has found that women in Samburu go through a "beading" process once they start menstruating, which makes them accessible to nonconsensual sex from warriors in their tribe. Girls who are still children can be taken on as "temporary brides" and fall victim to sexual violence.
We want to fix this through our partnerships and by educating women about their periods. Many of the programs we work with teach women how to create their own reusable pads and provide financial incentives that help to reduce this gender inequality barrier, make women feel more confident about their body, and provide more autonomy in their lives.
The Compass is dedicated to fundraising $40,000 to provide 10,000 menstruators with reusable products for the next calendar year. We are doing this by partnering with two NGOs to distribute products to women in high-risk zones.