Empowerment Through Feminine Hygiene

By Dare Women’s Foundation

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What is the Dare Women's Foundation?

The Dare Women's Foundation is located in Tanzania, operating in the Northern region in villages such as Machame, Kabuku, and Arusha. Our mission is to empower Tanzanian women and girls, focusing on rural areas, through poverty alleviation, social justice, economic empowerment, and gender equality. Empowerment Through Feminine Hygiene Care focuses on improving the quality of life of Tanzanian women through using entrepreneurship and design to make and sell reusable sanitary pads. This project will create jobs for women and empower all females to attend work and school comfortably and in good health during menstruation.

The Problem

In Tanzania, current methods of menstrual protection consist of using old rags from a material called Kanga and sometimes cornhusks, which both often lead to vaginal fungal infections and skin rashes, especially when women are conducting difficult manual labor. In addition to these health complications, it is challenging for females to attend school and work during menstruation and in result girls miss approximately 40 days of school per year (Vodacom Foundation).

Our Solution

We are helping Tanzanian women start micro-enterprises to make and sell reusable sanitary pads to women and girls in need. Our pads are absorbent with a leak-proof liner, last at least 1 year, and have cotton wings which fasten around underwear to hold them in place. They are affordable and eliminate the challenge of finding a location to purchase disposable pads each month. Alongside the development of reusable sanitary pads businesses, we will provide entrepreneurship training to two women who will then be able to teach these skills to others. We will also train a core group of feminine hygiene ambassadors to teach others about menstruation and how to care for their reusable sanitary pads.

Tracking Our Impact

We will track the impact that our project has on school attendance and performance through research collected at the Karanga Primary School. A group of 60 female students will receive pads and feminine hygiene training. We will measure the difference in attendance both before and after the introduction of our program. Pre-and post project wellbeing surveys will provide information about the impact on self-perception and quality of life in relation to attendance at school. To date we have made over 4,000 pads, which have been distributed to over 400 women residing in 2 villages of Northern Tanzania. In addition, we have carried out feminine hygiene training in 3 Primary schools located in Moshi, Kilimanjaro. Our next goal is to develop this project into a sustainable businesses model.

Your Donations

Materials to make a set of 6 reusable pads for 1 woman costs approximately $1 US dollar and would help keep a girl in school or a woman at work during menstruation for at least 1 year. Your donations will go toward materials and sewing machines needed to make reusable pads, entrepreneurship and feminine hygiene training for Tanzanian women, project documentation and marketing, travel for pads distribution and project participants, and research to measure our results. Please consider donating to our cause to empower women through feminine hygiene care!

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Team Members

Lindsay Yeager

Brenda Crowley

Jaime Mayer

Laura Crepeau

Lisa McBeth

Maggie Duncan Simbeye

Morgan Lehr