Empowerment through alternatives

Commercial markets provide a plethora of products dedicated to cater to the sanitary needs of women. Whilst those of us seated at the lap of luxury use these exquisite products, a majority is left to be inconvenienced with the use of unhygienic methods. Whilst alternatives for synthetic sanitary napkins are booming, Sinidu is one such alternative we came across this week.

Put together by the SAARC Chamber Women Entrepreneurs Council (SCWEC), it is an eco-friendly product manufactured with the aid of a biodegradable material, aimed to cater to women of low income.

SCWEC Treasurer Sitti Jezaayar Hassendeen revealed to us that this product is manufactured with the aid of a low cost sanitary pad making machine, which is first of its kind to Sri Lanka. “It was invented by Dr. Arunachalam Muruganantham in India.”

The cotton like product, which actually happens to be extracted off tree barks, is placed into a moulding machine, first compressing the product so as to give it its rectangular shape. The end product is then sealed and sterilised, which is subsequently left to be packaged.

Jezaayar revealed to us that their entire ethos behind this initiative is empowering and uplifting women.
“Most people don’t think about what those underprivileged women require to become a full woman. We can easily make them entrepreneurs by providing them with machinery, but we don’t think about how we can lift them up internally. These are women who undergo a tremendous amount of pressure and agony every day.”

Whilst around 51% of women don’t use sanitary napkins, there are those of them who make use of cloth. Such unhygienic practices may lead to various diseases and sicknesses.

“With this sanitary napkin, when it’s worn and full, the pad becomes heavy, which is when you know it should be replaced,” Jezaayar told us, adding that they wish to attend to the concerns mentioned above through the propagation of their product to such women.

By Chenelle Fernando