| Nov 23, 2023
SEED's Approach to Gender Responsive Care
Women in a pad-making learning session
In a push to improve upon the reliability and affordability of menstrual products in Madagascar and address the health concerns associated with the more common methods of menstrual hygiene/health management (MHM), SEED Madagascar has been working to move away from the use of vorotsembo (old cloth) as it lacks in the reliability, affordability, and safety of many sustainable menstrual products. Pad-making sessions have now been permanently integrated into the Sekoly Programme after an enthusiastic response to the success of SEED’s pilot sessions.
Over the course of three comprehensive sessions, students learn how to trace, cut, and sew their own reusable pads, and are tested on their ability to autonomously assemble them in their final lesson. The pads are made using a soft cotton fabric for comfort, accompanied by a removeable insert to facilitate easy changes. For security, the pads are designed with wings which are fastened with buttons around the underwear. By the end of the sessions, students have three reusable pads and soap for cleaning, with pad maintenance covered within the lessons.
Investing in women and girl’s education is transformative! At Sarisambo Lower Secondary School, one of SEED’s active school construction projects, students have expressed their excitement in learning how to make reusable pads. The girls' ability to craft cost-effective, durable, and sanitary menstrual products fills them with confidence and teaches them a useful skill. It’s one that can be passed on to their sisters, mothers, friends, and neighbours creating a empowering effect within the community
Woman making a reusable pad while holding her baby