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For most women in North America, having our period is no more complex than popping in to the local pharmacy for pads, and maybe popping some Advil.
But the United Nations Children’s Fund estimates that 1 in 10 school-age African girls either skips school during menstruation or drops out entirely because of a lack of access to proper sanitary pads.
Girls and women faced with these problems find ways to improvise pads, but the materials used are often linked to reproductive tract infections, or offer limited absorbency. Studies in Uganda and Ghana have shown that school attendance increases significantly when girls have access to sanitary pads and underwear.
Enter Arunachalam Muruganantham! After years of research – some of it quite remarkable! – he’s found a solution that’s both cost-effective, and sustainable. Check out this entertaining and inspiring TED talk where he explains how he’s gotten sanitary pads to thousands rural women across India… and is revolutionizing access around the world.