With spring energy on the rise, we want to start this sunny season with empowering content. In celebration of International Women's Day, we are dedicating March to female entrepreneurs. Ambitious women that saw a problem girls and women are confronted with, and came up with a solution.
In the previous weeks, we talked about what Femtech is, femtech startups and women entrepreneurs that focus on women care, and we had the pleasure to talk with Kathrin, the founder of Femtech Insider.
Today we want to share with you another super cool initiative, one that raises its power all the way from Kenya.
“There is strength in sisterhood” say the founders of Sister Speak Globally. We couldn't agree more and totally support this. And what other way to spread their initiative than to share with you lovely peeps, the amazing things these global sisters do?!
Sister Speak Global is an organization that offers female-centered events. The founders, Monica Muhoya, Angela Waweru and Angela Muiruri, offer women a safe environment through curated events that increase the feeling of empowerment, confidence and support in order to pursue their goals and purpose in life. Their mission is to use barter trade (exchanging heels for menstrual pads) for social good to raise awareness about period poverty, offer menstrual products and education as well as deconstruct myths by normalizing menstrual conversations in public spaces in Kenya.
Their events focus on various aspects of women's life: from youth and mental health to eliminating gender based violence.
Besides their events, Sisters Speak Global initiated a CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) campaign. Called Heels4Pads, is fighting period poverty while empowering women and girls, and advancing gender equality through access to menstrual health management.
Period poverty affects girls and women all over the world, and in Kenya more than 12 million primary school girls do not attend school due to a lack of menstrual products. Heels4Pads has a positive impact on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as following:
Goal 4: ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong opportunities for all
Goal 5: achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
Goal 6: ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
Goal 17: partnership for the goals
How does Heels4Pads work?
The CSR campaigns uses a sustainable approach to provide menstrual products for girls and women while offering support for young female professionals to enter the job market. Heels4Pads accepts heels and other types of formal shoes as donations. The shoes are later exchanged for sanitary pads in pop-up markets set up in Nairobi, Kenya, where they partner with flea markets, educational institutions and public malls. The initiative targets young women starting their career who can purchase the heels and be prepared for job interviews, work or internships. Further, the women received mentorship from professionals that can guide them through their future career. The other side of this initiative are the collected sanitary pads that are donated to schools and organizations in marginalized and impoverished backgrounds. The two-fold campaign aims to deconstruct myths around menstruation, while providing access to menstrual products and empowering young professionals to follow their goals.
The campaign is conducted during three annual events: International Women’s Day (March), International Menstrual Health Management Day (May) and International Day of the girl (October).
Their campaign has had major success! Until now, Heels4Pads has raised 23.500 $, exchanged 4.800 high heels and 11.512 girls and women have been beneficiaries of this initiative.
How can you support them?
Volunteer. Heels4Pads are always looking for volunteers to help during events and pads distribution.
Donate. High heels, sanitary pads or money, you can make an impact.
Partnerships. Partnering with Heels4Pads helps girls to keep them in schools and have access to menstrual products.
Kohe Lele is a big believer in Sisters Speak Global and Heels4Pads and pledges to contribute parts of our profits to them. As period poverty affects girls and women all over the world, we need all the help we can get to fight this.
Another initiative that we talked about in the past is Pe stop. Like Heels4Pads, this Romanian NGO is fighting period poverty by providing menstrual products to women from unfavorable backgrounds.