Access to Pads: A Price to Pay

Your period is a natural process, and even though it’s something that most, if not all of us as women go through, sometimes it’s not always easy. For instance, you could probably relate to how expensive it is buying sanitary towels (or pads) and tampons can be every month. Also, many women don’t even have access to pads or are unable to afford pads; this is a major challenge choma.  Here are just a few of the different ways that lack of access to pads can affect women:


Not having access to sanitary pads means that girls have to find other material to use during their period, like old cloths or old clothes. You can imagine this is not ideal Choma since normal pads need to be changed frequently and wearing one piece of cloth all day is unhygienic and starts to smell. 

Not having access to sanitary pads can make your period feel embarrassing. Especially because getting your period often happens unexpectedly. Not having pads and having to rely on cloth can be uncomfortable and can make girls feel humiliated.

Lost time at school

While many young girls use what they can during their period to make sure they can go to school – a heavy flow can force them to skip a day or two of school. This can affect their education – especially during crucial times like exam time.

What’s the solution?

There are a few pad drives around the country that donate pads to young girls and women in order to ensure that they have access to pads every month. Some of these pad drives are run by organisations such as Mimi, Dignity Dreams, The Million Comforts Campaigns and The Homeless Sanitary Drive (just to name a few). Celebrities and organisations often get involved and donate pads to girls in schools or women on the street. We as women can also support one another by giving our friends and peers sanitary towels and being there for one another.

A lot of people are calling for pads to be free and I couldn’t agree more. Pads should be just as free as condoms are. Young girls also need access to long lasting alternatives, other than the pads. Re-usable sanitary products for example, menstrual cups, also called Diva Cups, which are small plastic flexible cups that you can use instead of a pad or tampon. They can be washed and re-used and saves some money instead of having to buy new pads all of the time. . You can read this article for more info about Diva Cups.

What do you think should be done Choma? If you want to have your say and call for more people to take action for girls who need sanitary pads, make your noise here.

Or do you want to do something about it? If you or someone you know is able to donate pads, please contact the Choma team via the Get Involved Section on Make a Noise. Click the link here.

Remember, if you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Message, a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657)