This is an opportunity and a call to all social entrepreneurs who are thinking of expanding their sanitary pads brand to new markets. In Nigeria, there is great work ongoing to educate girls about menstrual hygiene and pregnancy. The Girls for Development Goals (Formerly Girls Health and Education Foundation), has donated over 3,000 single-use sanitary pads and is looking forward to finding a brand that girls can use and reuse. Keen to know more?
Menstruation should not stop the education period.
That’s the message of our collaborator Benedicta, founder of Girls for Development Goals (Formerly Girls Health and Education Foundation), has spread among no less than 3,000 young girls in Nigeria.
From Ourgoodbrands, we had the chance to connect with Benedicta, after we had a search on our Instagram page to find activists raising awareness on how dangerous and unhealthy the commercial sanitary pads are for women and the environment.
We found a Nigerian community of ladies who were to repost and share on Instagram, images of commercial sanitary pads. By doing so, they had the chance to participate in a competition to win a year’s supply of sanitary pads.
We commented on the posts & tried to explain that this product was not a sustainable option and that there are more eco-friendly alternatives out there. To our surprise, some ladies replied back with the question:
“What brands are better for us?”
Then we started researching about brands like the ones we had the chance to connect, such as Saathi Pads, Webleedforyou or Ruby Cup. But none of them, even other similar brands, were distributed in Nigeria. We could not provide a solution for these women, who genuinely needed sanitary pads and were trying their best of getting these essentials for free (as if it was a luxury product!).
Some questions to ponder upon: in western countries, women have used commercial sanitary pads and tampons for ages. Now we have new Knowledge informing us of its danger as touching health, not forgetting the environment.
If in the so-called “developed” countries, women are starting to use more sustainable and environmentally friendly alternatives, such as the biodegradable pads or reusable menstrual cups… Why would people in poorer underdeveloped countries who need sustainable sanitary pads and menstrual hygiene alternatives the most, encourage only brands that are unethical, non-reusable and unhealthy?
If in all other continents around the globe, people have discovered what the good and sustainable alternatives for their periods are, shouldn’t the importation of these products into Nigeria be promoted?
Why those people in poorer countries who need sustainable sanitary pads and menstrual hygiene alternatives the most, only brands that are unethical, anti-ecological and extremely unhealthy have the right to enter these markets first?
Unanswered questions in the presence of angry feelings can paint an ugly scene.
We found Benedicta Chukwuyem Uweru, who was listed on some websites as an active educator of younger girls on sexuality and feminine health and hygiene.
She told us that sanitary pads are an actual problem in African countries. A good percentage of women use rags – which is not safe nor hygienic – because they can’t afford sanitary pads. During our chat, she admitted that disposable sanitary pads are not the best option, but the only choice available (as tampons are rare around here).
Since Ourgoodbrands platform is connecting social entrepreneurs and sustainable brands to good consumers, creating meaningful relationships, we want to call out for the promotion of the use of sanitary pads, that are sustainable, reusable, eco-friendly, ethically made, biodegradable, as well as other reusable alternatives such as menstrual cups. You have an opportunity as a Social Enterprise to open a new market, Starting in Nigeria.
We have been collecting some information to advise you on a business visa, as well as working and living permits in the country. For all those social entrepreneurs that believe in this as a necessary cause and feel the urge to bring awareness to more sustainable feminine hygiene options, please contact us at [email protected]
If you are a consumer of a good brand that you believe could do a fantastic job in Nigeria, make sure you comment below, and we will try our best to contact those brands.