can you imagine not being able to go to school because you had your period, and no sanitary products? the monthly disruption to your education would be so frustrating, and it would quickly put you well behind the other people in your class.
this is incredibly common in many developing countries, and girls who desperately need to be educated are missing out because of a physical process that is completely natural. not fair! not right! this is a race issue, it’s a class issue, and it’s a feminist issue, and it’s something that we can help with!
deanna duke has started an organization called goods 4 girls, dedicated to getting handmade menstrual pads distributed to the people who need them the most. her website is worth a read - it explains just how big a difference these simple pads can make.
today my partner and i went to “paddy wagon” an event organised by the awesome cate lawrence, where a bunch of crafters got together to make as many cloth pads as we could ‘em masse’, so that we can get plenty of them out there to girls who need them.
here is sara-jane, carrying our sewing machine as we headed for the venue.
cutting out the pieces using the template.
all stacked up and ready to sew.
cupcakes for the workers.
we were able to make the pads from mostly recycled materials - we used flannelette from sheets for the outside parts, and old cloth nappies for the absorbent layers inside. we listened to music as we worked, rambled away at each other, and generally had a really good day.
maybe you’d like to consider making some pads yourself and giving to goods 4 girls as a christmas gift. lets face it - most of us have our sewing machines out at the moment, making presents or decorations. these pads are cheap and easy to whip up, and they will make such a difference to the people that receive them. you could even get ambitious and organize a day or an afternoon with your friends and make a whole lot like we did today. here’s a direct link to the free patterns you can use.
sew to make a difference!