Zim women sew sanitary pads to help keep girls in school; most can’t afford disposable hygiene products

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By Reuters

MUTASA: A community group in rural Zimbabwe is making reusable sanitary towels so that girls do not skip school when they have their period.

The Chiedza Community Welfare Trust, in Zimbabwe’s Mutasa District, started sewing cloth sanitary pads when founder Gladys Mukaratirwa realised that local girls were missing school every month because they could not afford disposable hygiene products.

“If you calculate two to five days per month, it’s about 45 days per year of school time which is wasted, so we realised that there was a need for them to have a sustainable source of sanitary pads,” Mukaratirwa said.

The group, run by female volunteers, sells its pads to individuals and to charities across Zimbabwe for distribution to schoolgirls and vulnerable women.