The Pad Project is a nonprofit organization founded by a group of high school students and their teacher dedicated to the fight for menstrual equity. Individuals around the world, especially in low-income communities, often face a lack of access to menstrual products. According to a 2017 study, 1 in 5 American girls have either left school early or missed it entirely because they didn’t have access to sanitary products (1). The combination of period poverty, stigmatization, and inadequate reproductive and sexual health education has major consequences for the wellbeing of women, girls, and all those who menstruate.
In order to raise awareness about this issue, The Pad Project committed to raising the funds to send a pad machine, along with a year’s worth of raw materials, to a village in rural India. The process was documented in the film Period. End of Sentence., which won the 2019 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short. The documentary shows how the installation of the pad machine provides access to affordable and hygienic menstrual products and creates a micro-economy for the women who operate it.
Since the film’s release, The Pad Project has placed six pad machines in different regions in India and implemented a reusable cloth pad-making program in Sierra Leone. The Pad Project is working to install a semi-automated pad machine in Afghanistan and to launch a reusable cloth pad-making program in Guatemala. The Pad Project is combating period poverty in the U.S. by hosting menstrual hygiene donation drives in the greater Los Angeles area and providing grassroots organizations with microgrants to purchase bulk menstrual supplies.
Now we need your help to expand our reach! With your support we hope to place machines in India, Kenya, Nepal, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, and Uganda in 2020. Please join The Pad Project in our mission to create and cultivate local and global partnerships to end period stigma and to empower women worldwide.
To learn more about our organization please visit our website.
The Pad Project Team
- https://always.com/en-us/about-us/end-period-poverty; Always Confidence and Puberty Study, Nov. 2017; based on females 16-24 years old; 2016 U.S. census.