Menstrual hygiene plays role in food security

Text and Video by Sahar Majid

DES MOINES, Iowa — Days for Girls provides women with long-lasting hygiene solutions — and heads off a problem at the root of food insecurity.

At the World Food Prize at the Marriott Downtown Hotel Thursday, Leah Spelman, chief operating officer, said loss of time for women puts a strain on family food security and other issues. The company prepares low-cost, washable and reusable sanitary napkins that women can use during their menstrual cycles every month for about three years.

These pads are distributed in more than 75 countries across the globe and cost about $10.

Days for Girls targets women from low-income backgrounds who can’t afford expensive disposable napkins every month and have to miss school or work to avoid embarrassment.

This is an important issue that people are reluctant to talk about, Spelman said. If girls can’t get what they need, they won’t be able to perform their duties in an efficient way and it will have a negative effect on our economy, she said.

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