INCREASING PERIOD PROTECTION FOR YOUNG WOMEN IN ZAMBIA
Menstrual Health Management (MHM) is a key aspect of safeguarding the health, dignity, and overall life opportunities of girls and women. A study by Zambia’s Ministry of Education shows that girls miss an average of 36 school days per year due to ineffective MHM. While there are many challenges to implementing effective MHM rooted in social norms and beliefs, access to safe and affordable MHM products is a critical component of ensuring individual protection and gender equity. The team conducted over 60 customer discovery interviews with Zambian women and health organizations, and discovered that many young women in Lusaka still feel unprotected by the cheap pads that are most accessible there. As a result, the team created ZamPads, a social enterprise that seeks to manufacture high-quality, low-cost sanitary pads locally. By leveraging Zambia’s thriving cotton sector and establishing short, cost-effective supply chains, ZamPads can fulfill its mission of providing “period peace of mind” for all women, not just those who can afford it.