Copyright Sarah Bones
The Pad Project partners with local organizations and grassroots NGOs to fund the placement of pad machines, implement washable pad programs, and run menstrual hygiene management workshops in communities around the world. We work with our partners to tailor each program to the specific menstrual health needs of each community.
At The Pad Project, our goal is to ensure that every menstruator can attend school. Access to pads allows menstruators to feel comfortable and confident in a learning environment, but it is critical to pair menstrual hygiene products with comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) education. Whenever we install a machine, we do so by partnering with established local organizations who can host community-led workshops and start dialogue around menstruation and related menstrual hygiene management (MHM) and SRHR education. Our film, Period. End of Sentence., can serve as an entry point for these conversations.
These programs involve the manufacture and sale/distribution of disposable pads to girls and women in the community. Please note that the cost of international taxes, customs duty on raw materials, import duty, and transportation from vendor location to the port of entry is not included in the following estimates.
Manual Pad Machines: Estimated to produce 43,000 pads per year serving a community of 400 women for 1 year
- 4-5 women employed for production*
- Cost of Pad Machine: $7,000
- Shipping and taxes (for locations outside India): $3,700
- Cost of 1 year Raw Materials: $2,500
- Cost of Training and Operations: $25,000
- Grand Total: $36,000
Semi–Automated Pad Machines: Estimated to produce 300,000 pads per year serving the menstrual hygiene needs of 2,800 women for 1 year
- 5-6 women employed for production*
- Cost of Pad Machine: $18,500
- Shipping and taxes (for locations outside India): $8,000
- Cost of Raw Materials for 12 months: $22,000
- Cost of Training and Operations: $28,500
- Grand Total: $77,000
Automated Pad Machines: Estimated to produce 720,000 pads per year serving the menstrual hygiene needs of 6,900 women for 1 year
- 10 women employed for production*
- Cost of Pad Machine: $42,500
- Shipping and taxes (for locations outside India): $15,800
- Cost of Raw Materials for 12 months: $70,500
- Cost of Training and Operations: $40,000
- Grand Total: $168,000
*Additional women/other community members are employed for sales and education outreach by the implementing partners depending on the program design and scale.
These programs involve manufacturing and distributing Dignity Kits to girls and women in the community. Each Dignity Kit contains washable pads, liners, underwear, hand towels, and soap. Please note the cost of pad distribution is not included in the following estimates. Distribution drives are set up monthly in the community.
- India-Based Program
- Workers Employed: 5 to 6
- People Served: 300 menstruators for 1 year
- Manufacturing Cost: $10 USD per Dignity Kit
- Grand Total: $7,000 USD
- Non-India-Based Program (Guatemala, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Uganda)
- Workers Employed: 5 to 6
- People Served: 250 menstruators for 1 year
- Manufacturing Cost: $12 to $14 USD per Dignity Kit
- Grand Total: $7,500 USD
Students in low income communities often have difficulty obtaining menstrual hygiene products, and because of the pandemic, access is more limited than ever. That’s why The Pad Project is providing microgrants to school districts across the U.S. to purchase and distribute menstrual products to students. So far, we’ve partnered with 4 schools in 2 states! Click here to learn more about how the pandemic is affecting access to menstrual products.
HOW OUR PROGRAMS CONTRIBUTE TO THE UN’S SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS
The Pad Project’s work to empower women and all people who menstruate around the world is in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 3, 4, 5, 6, and 12.
- The Pad Project is working to promote the health and wellbeing of people who menstruate by increasing access to affordable, hygienic menstrual products and enhancing bodily autonomy. This is expected to lead to both 1) enhanced access to health services for sexual and reproductive health, especially through self-care and 2) improved contraceptive uptake by women of reproductive age.
- By addressing barriers that limit girls’ access to schools once they start menstruating, including access to products and a supportive eco-system, the programs are also helping reduce school absenteeism at the level of secondary education. The programs are also expected to reduce the risk of gender-based violence by tackling intergenerational menstrual stigma.
- The menstrual product enterprises jumpstart a micro-economy for the women that they employ and provide them with enhanced economic and social agency, which brings with it opportunities for leadership in family and community life.
- The washable pad-making programs encourage sustainable menstrual hygiene practices and reduce non-biodegradable menstrual waste. The Pad Project is also planning to include biodegradable disposable pads and menstrual cups as part of its future program investments to further support the SDGs 6 and 12.
Visit the UN Foundation website to learn more about their SDGs.
We're stronger together
We’re ready to give this project everything we have, but we know we can’t do it alone.