Due to the lack of access to sanitary wear, schoolgirls are not going to school while menstruating and this results in their education being hindered by 25% each year.

That is one week every month, which is a massive set back in their school careers. If there is money in the family it first goes to food.

The sanitation in the schools is mostly dismal, if not of a very low standard, which makes it extremely difficult for girls to discard used sanitary pads.

The majority of the workers that migrate into the city to work as domestics or at markets or anywhere they choose, all have the same problem of the cost and disposal of sanitary pads.

The monthly cycle of a woman should be something to celebrate and not to dread.

This is a normal part of any woman’s life which should not impede her progress through life.

However, some methods of menstrual hygiene employed in developing countries include:

  • Packets tied around the body filled with sand and leaves,
  • Waste paper
  • News paper
  • Old cloths
  • Rags
  • Previously soiled and dried sanitary pads – if they have any not always their own

It is extremely concerning that young ladies miss up to a week of school each month when they menstruate.  This certainly hinders their education and sets them back, putting them at a clear disadvantage against their male counterparts.

Education is the future for our county.  Women deserve better.

The Solution

more about subz pants & Pads

Subz Pants and Pads has been operating since August 2010 and to date has manufactured and distributed 100 000 Subz washable, reusable sanitary pad packs across South Africa.

Subz Pants and Pads does not only distribute the packs, they also offer an educational program on puberty, menstruation and female hygiene.  Before the distribution the girls are shown how to use and care for their Subz products as they can last for 3 – 5 years

know the facts

Research has shown that girls in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs) are often uninformed on and unprepared for menarche (the first menstrual period) – and the information they do receive may be limited and inaccurate.

Girls’ lack of preparedness and knowledge can cultivate within them a sense of shame; promote absences from school, work and other activities; and lead to unhygienic practices.

research shows

  • Knowledge of menstruation and menstrual hygiene tends to be higher among girls living in urban areas compared with rural girls, and in older adolescent girls compared with younger adolescent girls.

  • There are common misconceptions around menstruation, including the belief that it is a curse, disease or representation of a sin.

  • Mothers, followed by sisters, are the primary source of information, but they often give girls too little information too late, and they often communicate their own misconceptions.

  • Sources of information vary with residence: rural girls are less likely to cite their mothers as their primary source of information.

  • Teachers and health-care providers were almost never cited as a source of information on menstruation and menarche, indicating girls and women’s lack of access to information and services.

  • Some studies reported mass media – radio, television, newspapers, magazines, books and the Internet – as the only resource available to girls or as supplementary sources of information.

  • There is limited evidence and information on how menstruation relates to choices in family planning or experience of irregular bleeding, or how women address vaginal bleeding throughout the life course, including during peri-menopause.


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