AFRIpads is a social entreprise whose mission is to empower women and girls through business, innovation and opportunity. It specializes in the local manufacture and global supply of reusable sanitary pads as a cost-effective menstrual health solution for millions of women and girls worldwide. Unable to afford or access proper menstrual products, many girls and women rely on crude, improvised materials, most of which are unhygienic, ineffective, and uncomfortable. Faced with frequent, embarrassing leaks and a susceptibility to recurrent infections, millions of girls and women experience their monthly period as something that prevents them from engaging in daily life – whether this is going to school or work, or carrying out their normal domestic responsibilities. This disempowers them and acts as a deterrent in their human development. AFRIpads feels passionately that in order to overcome the barriers faced my menstruation, you need to provide more than just a product. Therefore, alongside the AFRIpads menstrual kits, it has developed a Menstrual Health and Hygiene education curriculum and a Monitoring and Evaluation toolkit.

Theory of Change

AFRIpads is founded on the belief that if we can overcome menstrual barriers, we are one step closer to gender equality. The availability of affordable and reusable sanitary pads will enable girls and women to stay in school, go to work regularly and participate in daily life with confidence and dignity, thereby expanding their capabilities and empowering them to achieve their true potential.

Activities

AFRIpads provides the following products/services:

  • Reusable menstrual pads, an “all-in-one” pad that buttons securely into a pair of underwear. After use, the pad folds conveniently for easy storage before washing.
  • Menstrual Health Management Education: AFRIpads understands that providing a product solution alone does not address the complex needs women and girls face during menstruation. To support their partners working in development and humanitarian contexts, AFRIpads provides use and care materials alongside a high quality education curriculum.
  • Materials include soft copy and video use and care guides, interactive training sessions and an educational comic booklet.
  • In order to ensure there is tangible evidence of the effectiveness of the MHH intervention, AFRIpads also provides a data collection toolkit.

Results

AFRIpads has provided over 3.5 million women and girls across nearly 40 countries (primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa) with a sustainable solution for managing their periods. AFRIpads currently employs over 150 young women in Uganda to make the reusable sanitary pads, providing a livelihood to them and their families. In 2019, AFRIpads opened a brand-new factory in rural Uganda that has the potential to create 500 new jobs.