Alarming stats on period poverty propelled local NPO to install sanitary towel machines in schools

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
"7 million South African girls do not have access to, or cannot afford to buy, sanitary products." Photo: IAMFORHER Foundation website.
"7 million South African girls do not have access to, or cannot afford to buy, sanitary products." Photo: IAMFORHER Foundation website.

Approximately 7 million South African girls do not have access to, or cannot afford to buy, sanitary products, according to Bathabile Dlamini, South Africa's Minister for Women.

Although these alarming statistics are upsetting they are a reality of period poverty in South Africa.

Speaking at the Menstrual Health Management Symposium in Johannesburg, South Africa, Dlamini said that access to sanitary products, dignified treatment and education on menstrual health management is a human rights issue that all of us must strive for.

In a bid to help, a local a non-profit organisation that operates independently of any government, IAMFORHER foundation is on a mission to destigmatise menstruation, provide education on menstruation and offer free sanitary products to schools and communities across South Africa, in honour of World Menstrual Hygiene Day celebrated on 28 May 2022.

Read: 'Lack of sanitary pads force girls to use unhygienic materials': Health expert on ending period poverty

This foundation installed sanitary towel machines at Vista High School in Cape Town and Gordon High School at Firgrove in Somerset West and donated sanitary towels to Tamboerskloof Primary in Gardens.

The founder of the foundation, Nicky Cupido and her team are busy installing sanitary towel machines at Ebenezer Primary School in Paarl, where she attended primary school.

This foundation has already donated up to 32 825 sanitary towels to young girls and women in need and has distributed over 774 education pamphlets since 2019.

IAMFORHER Head of Brand, Natalie Jardine, says that many girls and women across the country suffer from period poverty due to a lack of access to menstrual products, hygiene facilities, and education around menstruation.

She says that the sociological effects of this include more than simply missing school or work but essentially means alienation from society while menstruating.

Jardine says that there is a need for proper education around menstruation, access to waste management, sanitary towels and making a difference in women.

For more information on this foundation visit their website here.


Share your stories and questions with us via email at Anonymous contributions are welcome.

Don't miss a story!

For a weekly wrap of our latest parenting news and advice sign up to our free Friday Parent24 newsletter.

Follow us, and chat, on Facebook and Twitter.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Zama zama crackdown: What are your thoughts on West Village residents taking the law into their own hands?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Authorities should bring in the army already
11% - 2242 votes
Illegal miners can't be scapegoated for all crime
48% - 9899 votes
What else did we expect without no proper policing
37% - 7524 votes
Vigilante groups are also part of the problem
4% - 748 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.