Press Release in accordance with the “International Menstrual Hygiene Day”
New Partnership between Tadwein for Gender Studies and Shemsi
28 May, 2023
On the 28th of May and in accordance with the International Menstrual Hygiene Day, Tadwein for Gender Studies launched a new partnership with Shemsi, the first brand in Egypt to manufacture and sell menstrual underwear “Period Underwear”.
Menstruation, or period, is a natural event and part of the menstrual cycle that occurs to nearly two billion girls and women at reproductive age around the globe. Menstruation occurs as part of the biological functioning of the female body. When no pregnancy occurs, the uterus sheds its inner lining (period) in preparation of a new lining in case a pregnancy occurs later on.
According to The World Bank, about 500 million women and girls worldwide, of which 107 million are in the MENA region suffer from menstrual or period poverty. The term “Period Poverty” refers to difficulty and/or lack of access to menstrual hygiene products. Poor access o menstrual products force women and girls to use unsafe alternatives exposing them adverse health consequences or even death.
Period poverty can affect women and girls in a variety of ways. Women and girls with poor access to menstrual products often feel embarrassed and/stigmatized. Moreover, period poverty often limits the freedom of girls forcing them to miss out on school, social events, sports activities and social events. On average, girls spend 2 to 4 days at home each month during menses. More than 98 million girls worldwide do not attend school during their menstrual period. Period poverty is directly linked with school dropouts. School dropouts increases the chances of girls being married as children or at an early age. UNESCO estimates that if all girls received secondary education, child marriage would fall by almost two-thirds. Period poverty can also affect women’s participation in the workforce, which can have significant economic implications for them and their families.
Being aware of the consequences of period poverty, Tadwein for Gender Studies signed an MoU with Shemsi to combine efforts in changing the negative perceptions towards the menstrual cycle, and to also ensure better health management of the menstrual period among the most vulnerable and girls in need in Egypt.
Shemsi period underwear is environmentally friendly as it is washable and reusable. Shemsi underwear does not produce any waste and thus provides a sustainable and green solution for the waste disposal of the single use sanitary pads. Every year, an average of 45 billion sanitary pad is disposed worldwide.
This partnership is a result of the many awareness campaigns Tadwein for Gender Studies conducted over the past two years on the issue of period poverty. Tadwein for Gender Studies requested all related entities to avail period product to the most vulnerable and those in need in Egypt.
We call for all partners to exert joint efforts to combat period poverty through the provision of menstrual products to girls and women who are most in need and also through raising awareness on the importance of menstrual hygiene management and fighting stigma and myths related to the menstrual cycle. This will greatly affect the physical and mental well-being of girls and women in Egypt and will assist in achieving gender justice.