Being a part of 100 Women is an important role for me as their contribution to the women in our community is life-changing. Today I wanted to share with you one of the projects that has been supported by the 100 Women grants and is having a huge impact for women in Cambodia.
Restore One is a not for profit organisation supporting families in the broken communities of Cambodia and Myanmar. They run a range of programs that focus on education, employment and better standards of living – https://www.restoreone.org.au/projects/
100 Women have been proud to support their project Restore Rose with a grant of $14,400 to provide 4,800 women living in rural villages in Cambodia with silicone menstrual cups. The women received education around the use of menstrual cups as well as their own to use as well as classes on nutrition and food preparation led by their village chief.
The classes give the women the knowledge to hygienically use a menstrual cup so they can use the one they are gifted when they return home. Learn more about Restore Rose in this video:
What was the situation for women in Cambodia prior to the program?
Women had 2 choices when it came to menstrual items – use rags or nothing. For many, the cost was too high so unhygienic and ineffective rags were the only answer. This meant going to work or school is difficult, and many had no choice but to stay home.
There was also the issue of disposing of them afterwards as there is no rubbish collection. The only way to dispose of used menstrual items is to bury them, many times the dogs of the village will then dig them up. A village covered in used menstrual items is neither hygienic nor attraction so a solution was vital.
But, why menstrual cups?
Menstrual cups have gained popularity over the last few years and are the choice for many Australian women who are looking for an environmentally and cost friendly solution. These same reasons are why Restore One chose menstrual cups for their project. There is nothing to throw away at the end so the rubbish issue we discussed above is no longer a problem. Menstrual cups are easy to use and through the education program, the women were confident in using and cleaning them.
Not only are they an environmentally friendly choice but also a financially sustainable one with one cup lasting up to 10 years. Every woman who has received a cup no longer has to worry about the expense of menstrual pads and choosing each month between buying pads or buying food and other necessities.
How well is it working?
An important part of this project is monitoring the outcomes for the women who have participated. After all, if the women went home, put the cup in a cupboard and never used it then it wouldn’t be a great solution!
Surveys of the women found:
- 38% of the women who received the cup use it exclusively and were positive about how it was easy to use and made such things as work easier.
- 93% of the women that were experiencing a menstrual cycle when they received the cup reported they used it effectively and that it made their life easier.
- Other positive comments included it was easier to use than pads, saved money and they could afford other things like food and clothes for their children.
You can find out more about 100 Women’s support of Restore Rose and how you can help support initiatives like this here – https://100women.com.au/restore-rose-grant-completed/