The Bloody Taboo

Have you ever thought about how girls and women who cannot afford pads or tampons cope with their period? What would you do? Panic. It’s a shameful nightmare to find that you have stained your clothes and that it might be visible to others.

In many parts of the world, this is everyday life—each and every month! Women and girls living in developing countries face problems when they menstruate because they simply cannot afford sanitary pads or tampons. Instead, they use whatever they have at-hand such as bark, mud, newspaper, cloth, and even pieces of mattress. Menstruation is a completely overlooked barrier to development and it has a significant impact on education, gender, equality and basic human dignity. Ruby Cup supports breaking this taboo.

The Facts

  • UNDP calls unsanitary menstrual hygiene protection an overlooked problem that hinders achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of universal education and gender equality. (Read more here)
  • Studies show that girls miss up to 20% of their school time each year because they are afraid of staining their clothes during their period and therefore stay at home. This absence causes some girls to drop out of school entirely.
  • Lacking proper sanitary products, girls and women are forced to use degrading solutions which do not absorb well and frequently pose serious health implications in the form of infections and diseases.
  • Making disposable pads available to women in developing countries poses a serious environmental problem, as there is rarely appropriate infrastructure to handle this kind of waste—a type of waste that manifests additional health concerns.
  • There is a general lack of education and guidance regarding menstrual hygiene and the use of menstrual hygiene products.

The Solution

Ruby Cup is an eco-friendly and long-lasting solution to the problem and also a conversation starter to further education about reproductive health. With one Ruby Cup, girls can go all the way through primary school, secondary school and college without having to worry about their menstruation. Read more about Ruby Cup's work in Kenya.

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