Maya Angelou once said: “Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.”

One of the most recent initiatives by women for women in South Africa proved to me how some extraordinary ladies are doing exactly what the late poet and author was referring to.

They’re standing up for themselves, for the needs of other women and for a cause that will change the availability of female products to indigent communities in our country.

Before I get too lyrical about the ground-breaking efforts of these women, let me start at the very beginning:

Did you know that at least 7 million girls in South Africa miss school due to a lack of access to sanitary products?

It doesn’t take someone with a Ph.D. in Education to understand that this has a dangerously negative impact on the individual girl’s academic career as well as on our country’s collective productivity.

Instead of just accepting this unfortunate statistic, three women decided to not just stand idly by and watch this human indignity, but to rather do something about it.

To stand up for the basic rights of all of us.

In came the menstrual cup. A small rubber cup with a history dating back to the early nineteen hundreds.

This not being a history lesson, I’m not going to bore you with other names and dates. But what I am going to tell you is that this cup can collect up to three times more fluid than a tampon, it is made of medical grade silicone, it’s safe, cost effective, environmentally friendly and has a life span of five years. It’s essentially the rock star of sanitary products.

Now back to the three female musketeers: Dr Mashadi Motlana, Zaakira Mahomed and Lerato Ndoro, founders of the Happy with a Purpose organisation, scientifically adapted the cups that were available on the market to make it more user friendly for first time users.

They lovingly named their new, evolutionary sanitary product: The Mina Cup. And their mission is to reach as many disadvantaged girls and women in Africa as possible.

They’re currently working with Transnet as a client and they’re part of the Serithi campaign that is advocating for tax free sanitary products.

In addition to distributing Mina, they’re also intensively involved in the facilitation of life skill programs and puberty education. Mina is handed out with a Mina Diary which enables girls to track their own cycle and it also gives them documented advice on sexual health.

In providing young girls and women with information, a physical product and the confidence to accept their bodies and its wonders, these three women are changing the world one girl at a time.

I always think it’s worth sharing any story in which women take on life’s challenges. Mother Teresa reminded us:
“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”

Watch this video below to find out more about the Mina cup:

Follow the Happy With a Purpose organisation on their website.

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