Pads Matter

We would like to invite you to become a supporter of Yoga Without Borders and contribute to our 2016 Pads Matter campaign.


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Before we ask for your support, we would like to share with you why it’s so important to us: why education matters, why pads matter, why menstruation matters, and how you can make a difference. For girls in developing countries, it’s the difference between tragedy and autonomy.

The facts are horrifying.

  • Over 130 million girls and women living today have been subjected to female genital mutilation.
  • Every year, 15 million girls are forced into marriage and virtual slavery. That’s 28 girls a minute.
  • 1 in 3 women experience physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime.
  • Systematic, mass rape of women and girls is a predominant weapon of modern war.
  • Every day, approximately 830 women and girls die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. 99% of all maternal deaths occur in developing countries.

The facts and the state of violence are so overwhelming that it can be hard to know where to start. So we asked some of the renowned advocates and authors in the field. One of the women from Kenya was very specific, and gave us an answer we didn’t expect: “Get us pads. The girls need sanitary pads so they can stay in school.”

This is not something that we would think about in the West. We go to the drugstore to get tampons. In developing countries, especially rural areas, there are often no pads, no tampons, and many girls end up using rags, garbage and manure. They incur infections and diseases. They cannot attend school or move about freely in their homes and communities. When girls miss and drop out of school, when they are marginalized, they are at higher risk for forced child marriage, early pregnancy, female genital mutilation, and their economic and life chances dramatically decline. This is why pads matter.

As requested, we took the first step and began sending re-usable sanitary pads, underwear and personal hygiene items to women and girls in Cameroon, Haiti and Zambia.

This year, in response to growing requests to address economic and educational challenges faced by girls, we are taking the next step.

We are funding a new training centre in Cameroon, where girls and women will sew reusable sanitary pads, underwear and school uniforms. This not only provides the girls and women in the community with the resources they need to manage menstruation in a healthy way, it also provides economic empowerment. It’s an excellent example of the wise saying, “Give a woman a fish, and feed her for a day. Teach a woman to fish, and feed her for a lifetime.”

Pic-2During the first three weeks of March, 2016, we were on the ground in Cameroon, delivering 1,000 pads and 1,000 pairs of underwear to girls in rural communities. We met with girls to talk about menstruation, their personal goals, and peer mentoring. We also garnered the support of local schools and community leaders, and learned more about what Yoga Without Borders could do to further support the health, education and rights of girls and women. As a result of our observations and
conversations, we are committed to providing more economic and educational opportunities for girls and women in the form of the new training centre.

We are raising funds now for this auspicious project. By becoming a supporter of Yoga Without Borders, you can help girls stay in school, help women have the mobility to work, help provide more economic opportunity, and break the cycle of poverty and discrimination.

  • More than 62 million girls around the world are not attending school.
  • Girls not in school are at higher risk for child marriage.
  • Education is key to ending the cycle of poverty.
  • Lack of menstruation resources is a major barrier to girls’ education.
  • Cultural taboos around menstruation and traditions that discriminate against girls perpetuate a system of oppression and health risks for girls.
  • Access to reusable pads and underwear helps girls to stay in school.
  • Girls who stay in school are less likely to marry early and less likely to have children at an early age.
  • Each additional year in school increases their future income potential by 10%.
  • Educated girls grow into empowered women who give back to their families and communities

Make a Contribution

You can make a real difference in the life chances of girls and women by making a one time or monthly donation.

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