Dangers of Menstrual Cups in Poor Rural Communities

I am getting increasingly concerned about the pressure from the rich nations to get menstrual cups adopted among poor rural communities, especially in Africa.  A Danish company called “Makit ApS” was recently awarded a Swedish grant to promote their product, called “Ruby Cups,” in Kenya.

Women and girls in poor rural communities throughout the developing world have extremely limited access to clean water and soap.  These devices need to be washed thoroughly and frequently and properly in order to be used safely.  In our work, we have also found that menstrual cloths will be shared by women in the same family.  What would happen if they were sharing dirty menstrual cups?

The zeal of environmental activists, when it meets the greed of entrepreneurs in the West can be an overwhelming combination.  I wish a more critical perspective would emerge in the policy discussion around these products.

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