GBV Survivors Trained to Make Re-usable Sanitary Pads for a Living PDF Print

Life stops for most women in Somalia during their menses. They stay at home to evade the embarrassment that comes with soiled clothes.

For girls in school, substantial learning time is wasted due to the high rate of absenteeism associated with menstruation; this translates to a week every month on average.

Due to economic challenges that many Somali households experience, food is the number one priority. This makes sanitary wear an unattainable luxury.

Fadumo, a tailor from Guri-Ceel is among 26 women from various parts of Somalia who were supported by CISP to attend training on making re-usable sanitary pads.  For five days, they measured, drew patterns on paper and practiced cutting out the design. After they mastered the drawing and the cutting, they then transferred those skills to the various fabrics provided.


Guided by the trainer, they layered the pieces of cotton and light towel-like material, held them together with pins and stitched around the edges. The final products bringing not only satisfaction for the new skill learned but also for the comforts foreseen.

“These pads will provide comfort and convenience for many women.  I am delighted to have learnt how to make them, I will definitely make a few for myself,” says Fadumo.

The training is also intended to give the women, survivors of various forms of Gender Based Violence (GBV), a source of income. “People only come to me when they need new clothes which is not often. I am thrilled that when I make the pads, CISP will buy them. The income I will get will help me provide for my family.”

The young mother is determined to try out what she has learned at the training, with her machine at home. “I will attempt using my machine to make the pads. This will be easier compared to stitching them manually. I will also produce using the machine.”

This training is part of the holistic approach to prevention and response to GBV which incorporates giving the survivors skills that will lift them out of poverty. CISP will purchase the pads from the women distribute them to schools in Mogadishu. This guarantees the women trained with a ready market for their product.






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