Menstrual Hygiene Day 2023 - NORA goes to Africa

Menstrual Hygiene Day 2023 - NORA goes to Africa

Our graphic designer April went to Kenya and took some NORA pads to give out to the local school. Here, we talk stigma, access to safe sanitary wear and ways we can help tackle a global problem.

Imagine not being able to go to school because you’ve got your period.

You’re called ‘unclean’ and even shamed for bleeding through your school clothes because you can’t access safe period wear. Lots of girls are denied education, shunned and not even allowed in church while they’re menstruating. Given that the average period lasts around 5 days and happens every 28 days, that’s 65 days per year away from class. That’s 2 months a year in total!

It’s pretty upsetting to think anyone has to go through this, but it’s a reality for many in developing countries, where the stigma of periods is all too real.


Girls and women who menstruate are at a massive disadvantage in societies where period stigma still exists. Enter: Menstrual Hygiene Day – an international day of awareness every May 28th aimed at eliminating the stigma around periods and helping girls and women access the period wear they need.

There’s a lot of work to do – removing stigma and building infrastructure doesn’t happen overnight but Menstrual Hygiene Day brings the issue to light and gets people talking about it, with the aim of eradicating shame and raising the money needed to get everyone who needs it the right access to safe period wear.

Making Headway in Kenya

Progress is being made, however, and in 2019 Kenya was the first country in the world to develop a comprehensive “Menstrual Health and Hygiene” policy, designed to help everyone in schools get access to the period products they need.

So, when NORA’s very own graphic designer April was going on a trip to Kenya, a country where 54% of people in rural areas can’t access safe period wear, she suggested she find some space in her suitcase for some reusable NORA pads to take with her and we wholeheartedly agreed. April’s no stranger to Kenya – her partner Matt spent his formative years there and can even speak Swahili.

When they went over in February, they filled their suitcase with items for the local school - Olkimatare Primary in the Lemek Constituency, just outside of the Maasai Mara in Kenya.

Instead of going on safari, April and Matt accompanied their guide Jonathon to the local school, where they delivered the NORA pads and other much needed items they had brought over.

How can we all help?

Having access to reusable pads means that those who need period wear will always have access. NORA pads can last up to 10 years and don’t create the waste associated with disposable period products like tampons and plastic pads.

This Menstrual Hygiene Day, we’re joining in the fight to break the stigma of periods – and here's some things you can do to help:

  • Talk openly about periods.
  • Avoid using euphemisms for periods, like “Aunt Flo.”
  • Support improved access to sanitation products (here)
  • Advocate for period-friendly policies in workplaces and schools.
  • Take a stand against period discrimination and shaming when you see it.

Together, we can end the shame felt by those who have periods, reduce waste AND save money in the long term. Shop NORA reusables here.