Period poverty: 4 African Women Working to Solve the Problem

1. Shari Maluleke

Co-founder and director of the Menstrual Project is Shari Maluleke. Maluleke is a genderfluid eco-feminist, as well as a menstruation and queer rights activist. The Menstrual Project is a Marist Youth initiative based in Johannesburg, South Africa that aims to demystify menstruation and to end period poverty.

The initiative aims to achieve this by providing period products to underprivileged girls and women in areas such as Yeoville, Hillbrow (both in Johannesburg) and the Kingdom of Eswatini. In a drive for sustainability, the Menstrual Project advocates for products such as reusable pads, period pants, and menstrual cups.


2. Candice Chirwa


Fondly known as the Minister of Menstruation — a title she has earned as a menstrual health advocate and warrior — Candice Chirwa is a South African-Malawian gender activist, period activist, and thought leader.

Chirwa is also the co-author of two books, Perils of Patriarchy and Flow: The Book About Menstruation. In 2020, the Minister of Menstruation partnered with the menstrual products company, Lil-lets as an official brand ambassador. She is the founder of an award-winning NGO, QRATE, which focuses on enhancing critical thinking in young people on social issues, and facilitates fun, dynamic menstruation workshops to provide comprehensive menstrual and sexual education.

3. Janet Mbugua


Janet Mbugua is a Kenyan media personality, author of My First Time Stories, and founder of Inua Dada Foundation. She’s also a Champion of Change for Global Citizen Africa, who helps to raise awareness about the continent’s most urgent issues.

Mbugua’s foundation won her a World Association for Sexual Health award in 2021. Through her foundation, she aims to create a global community that empowers, upholds the dignity, and protects the rights of every girl child — and extends that to her caregivers and community. Advocacy is at the heart of her career, including the launch of her My First Time Stories podcast, which extends conversations around menstrual justice.


4. Lolo Cynthia Ihesie

Nigerian menstrual and reproductive health advocate, Lolo Cynthia Ihesie (publicly known as Lolo Cynthia) is a social entrepreneur. Cynthia started LoloTalks — a social enterprise that seeks to increase comprehensive sexual health education across Nigeria, with a special focus on people in underserved commmunities. She’s also a 2020 Aspen Institute New Voices Fellow, a Nigerian UNHCR influencer for the #TellingtheRealStory project, and Advocacy Officer for organisation Niyel.

“Amplify voices and conversations around the need for access to period sanitary items and use stories of ourselves and other girls or women we know on the challenges they face purchasing these products every month to do this,” she told Global Citizen.


This article was culled from Global Citizen

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