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For 75% (22 million) of menstruating-age women in Ethiopia, access to safe and affordable sanitary products remains a significant barrier. This lack of access, often due to high costs and social stigma, has a ripple effect, forcing women to miss school and withdraw from daily activities.

A wave of change is emerging through the efforts of innovative Ethiopian companies producing reusable menstrual pads. These pads offer a cost-effective, sustainable, and culturally sensitive solution, empowering women and girls to manage their periods with dignity and confidence, meet five of those innovative companies below!

Mariam Seba 

Akofada (DFS Ethiopia)

Mariam Seba Products Factory (MSPF) was founded by Ethiopian American chemical engineer, Freweini Mebrahtu, Freweini Mebrahtu is CNN Hero of the Year for 2019 for her contribution to underprivileged African women in the area of menstrual hygiene management.

Founded in 2009 MSPF has reached over one million girls and brought a 23% decrease in school absenteeism.

This social-impact organization manufactures reusable sanitary pads for girls and women, many of whom do not have access to feminine hygiene products.

Adey Pads

Adey is a female-led organization engaged in manufacturing reusable sanitary pads. They also work to educate people about periods and get these pads to women in remote areas of Ethiopia.

These reusable pads are hygienic and have multiple layers: such as A soft, breathable top layer, an absorbent core to hold liquid, and a leak-proof bottom layer to prevent accidents.

Adey offers three types of pads: Regular reusable pads, Pads for after childbirth, and Pads for bladder leaks.

By washing and drying the pads, you can use them many times.

Mela For Her

Mela For Her is a social startup enterprise that transforms women’s and girls’ lives across Ethiopia by providing them with access to affordable and eco-friendly menstrual products, menstrual health education, and job opportunities.

They produce sustainable menstrual products that are affordable, comfortable, and reliable. Their products are hand-made. 

Han’s With Care

Founded by Hanan Abdi, Han’s with Care seeks to dispel the taboo, myths, and misinformation surrounding menstruation by increasing girls’ school attendance and reducing the number of days they miss due to their periods. Han’s with Care works to distribute reusable sanitary pads and provide menstrual hygiene management instruction to girls in schools. Additionally, Han’s with Care donates 1% of its sales to homeless and street children in the community.

Han’s provides 100% cotton and breathable fabric with waterproof lining which helps reduce leakage according to their website.

Liyu Reusable Sanitary pads

Liyu is a reusable sanitary pad manufacturing company based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia . They are a private manufacturing enterprise that focuses on creating a more sustainable and affordable menstrual hygiene option for women.

This woman-led enterprise produces locally made reusable Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) products to address the critical needs of women and girls during menstrual periods. It also provides an alternative option with unique benefits like faster and much less expensive local procurement and transportation compared to international options, saving time and money for its customer organizations.

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Etenat holds a degree in Journalism and her master's in Public Relations. Previously, she served as a university lecturer and has five years of experience in communications, media, digital marketing, and consulting.