“The human right to sanitation entitles everyone, without discrimination, to have physical and affordable access to sanitation, in all spheres of life, that is safe, hygienic, secure, socially and culturally acceptable and that provides privacy and ensures dignity” UN General Assembly Resolution 70/169
Despite decreased poverty rates across the world, access to feminine hygiene for many women in need continues to hold them back. One Aussie entrepreneur by the name of Kristy Chong believes she has the answer to a growing global health issue, the lack of feminine hygiene options that prevent women in need from getting an education and the stigma associated with using feminine hygiene products.
In third world countries, the lack of feminine hygiene options leads to young girls missing out on education and work which is a continual and growing major global issue. They are often forced to use rolled up unsanitary newspapers, cloth and sponges and hide in shame when they are menstruating.
While organisations like Days for Girls International are working to supply reusable pads, the washing and drying of these products comes with much shame as there is still such a taboo around menstruation, and these products obviously look like hygiene products.
Evidently, in East Timor, when girls start menstruating, they leave school. World Bank studies show that one extra year of secondary school can increase a girl’s future income by 1525 per cent. When girls are educated they are less likely to contract HIV, more likely to control childbearing and vaccinate their children and have lower maternal and infant mortality rates. And it shows that sending more girls to school – and keeping them there – can boost an entire country’s GDP.
MODIBODI™ undergarments are reusable, stain resistant and super absorbent, and can replace disposable hygiene. The great news is they fit and wear like regular underwear, so for these women it reduces the shame in other people knowing she has her periods as they are discreet, and they are easier to wash as they look like regular underwear, rather than washing hygiene products. MODIBODI undergarments do not require any special care or treatment and can be washed like regular underwear.
Kristy Chong, Founder of Modibodi, says “For many women it’s not only about access to feminine hygiene, but because menstruation is still such a taboo subject, it must be discreet. When I developed Modibodi, I wanted to give all women a more comfortable, discreet, reusable, attractive and convenient option to disposable hygiene. On a local level, Modibodi has partnered with Share the Dignity whose mission is to provide feminine hygiene to women in need in Australia.
Rochelle, Founder of Share the Dignity “There are 1 in 100 homeless women in Australia and there are 1,000s of women living in shelters across Australia. Faced with little money, these women cannot afford feminine hygiene, and so are forced to protect themselves from their monthly period and bladder weakness with bits of newspaper or bulky rags.”
“As a company who sells reusable, cost-effective period and leakproof underwear we wanted to help, and so we are selling our underpants at a discounted rate for customers to purchase for women in need. We also donate a percentage of every sale to make our underpants for women in need. We then arrange for the underwear to be put directly in the hands of a woman living in a shelter,” says Kristy Chong Founder, Modibodi.
The vision for organisations such as Share the Dignity, Days for Girls, and Modibodi is that every girl and woman in the world will be able to access discreet, quality sustainable hygiene and that together we end the shame and taboo around menstruation.