Our project aims to empower women in the area of Accra, Ghana, by employing Ghanaian women to create and sell reusable menstrual pads to local schools, charities and NGOs. We will also develop an educational programme, to be delivered in workshops, which aim to defeat the stigma surrounding women’s periods.
Our needs assessment found that menstrual pads in Ghana are perceived as a luxury, incurring a 20% import tax. Also, 90% of the average sanitary pad is made of plastic. This has led to expensive products for Ghanaian women which are often inaccessible, and harmful to the environment. By creating reusable pads, using locally acquired absorbent and leak proof materials, and providing education alongside this, Empower will provide practical solutions to problems Ghanaian women and girls face in their everyday lives. We aim to prevent young girls in Ghana from missing out on their education, because of the lack of menstrual products and embarrassment regarding their periods.
The Sustainable Development Goals which Empower tackle are good health and well-being, quality education, gender equality, reduced inequalities, sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production and climate action. Disposable sanitary pads are considered a luxury item and largely unaffordable to Ghanaian women. In rural areas of Accra, it is common for women to use banana leaves, old rags or cardboard when menstruating. Our project aims to improve women’s health by providing a sustainable and affordable alternative to these inadequate alternatives.
Our project aims to improve women’s health by providing a sustainable and affordable alternative to these inadequate alternatives, through an environmentally friendly disposable sanitary pads. Our pads will be made from locally sourced cotton and absorbent materials, whereas the average disposable sanitary pad consists of 90% plastic. Due to the lack of safe disposal facilities and the stigma surrounding a woman being on her period in Ghana, Ghanaian women often bury, or burn, their disposable pads which causes substantial damage to the local environment. We will strive to provide safe spaces for women and young girls to clean their sanitary products, which will prevent environmentally damaging methods of disposal.
We are planning to tackle quality education through a University of Nottingham endorsed Education Programme, delivered by volunteers, that will begin to breakdown stigmas regarding menstruation in Ghanaian communities through providing young girls with information about their menstrual cycle. The education programme allows us to tackle gender quality and reduced inequalities, by encouraging communities to have open discussions regarding menstruation, which will transform mindsets and break down long-lasting taboos regarding the female body.
We will employ a group of women from Accra to produce the sanitary pads, which will empower women through business via the creation of employment and development opportunities. Through the production and distribution of sanitary pads, our project will ensure that young girls no longer have to choose between their period, and their education.
Meet the team