When you purchase products from a company, you want to be sure that not only are you getting a quality product but that your hard earned money is going to a good cause. When you purchase from Shomota, you are contributing towards empowering girls and women in marginalized communities in India. For every Shomota pad you purchase, they are given vital menstrual education and a chance to have access to cloth menstrual pads. This opportunity for them can have life-changing effects. From staying in school to complete their education to a connection to deeper self-awareness of how their body ebbs and flows through their cycle. Your purchase is a ripple effect that flows from you to the girls and women in India.
No matter where you live or come from, menstruation is tangled up in the world of taboos. It has been hiding in the dark for many centuries in almost every culture of the world. Because of the silence and taboos surrounding menstruation, people are often caught in uncomfortable situations when trying to learn about their cycles or when buying products. Pads for Empowerment is a program in which we are creating safe environments for them to learn and care for their bodies and menstrual cycles and making cloth pads available for them to easily access without shame. We are breaking these taboos and silence and giving menstruation the due respect it deserves.
How Pads for Empowerment Works
For every Shomota pad that you purchase outside of India, there is a built-in charge of 90 INR ($1.40 USD) or you can add an extra contribution to your order here. If you are purchasing within India the cost is not built in, but you can add it on to your purchase here. This contribution goes to cover costs of the menstrual education seminars and to make our cloth pads available to those who choose to use them.
We offer these educational seminars free of cost to schools, Non-profits and other social businesses working with marginalized communities within in Kolkata and the surrounding areas. During the seminars, we discuss the basics of menstrual cycle awareness: the changes that happen within the female body based on her hormones and energies. We give advice on proper things to have in your diet for optimal hormonal health. We have a discussion on the different taboos and cultural stigma that they face during their periods and we play games to dispel those stigmas. We give them an opportunity to see and touch different menstrual products available, so they can make an informed choice on whether or not their current practice is best for them and the earth. We give them a choice of whether or not they would like to use Shomota pads and your contribution is what makes that choice possible.
We have been running this program since 2015. Through these years we have seen women become empowered through knowing the intricate workings of their own body. They have come to know what is normal for their cycle and what is abnormal and how to have an informed talk with their doctor if something is abnormal. They have been given opportunities to decide for themselves what is best for their body. The sessions almost always start with uncomfortable laughter and awkwardness but they end with so many questions. We love watching the change come over them as they experience this taboo topic come to light.
The Gada and Poddo pads have been specifically designed for girls and women from marginalized communities. After much research, we understood that a pad with a removable insert was much easier to handwash and to dry in the sun. It also gives them the opportunity to use their own sanitary cloth to put in the pocket piece. With the education that we give, they are well informed on how to take care of their cloth pieces. They learn how to wash and care for them properly. So they can decide what is best for their health and the health of the earth.
Will You Join Us?
Are you excited yet to be a part of this social change? Shop our products now with confidence that your purchase is empowering not only yourself and the earth, but also the marginalized communities in India.
Are you located in Kolkata or surrounding areas and would like to have a seminar run at your school, organization or business? Contact us and tell us a little bit more about who you are and why you’d like a session.
*We understand that not everyone who menstruates identifies as a girl or woman. The term “menstruator” can be used as an all-inclusive term for all people who menstruate. If you want to learn more about this term, you can read this blog post. We are supportive of this term and use it whenever applicable. However, we focus specifically on the empowerment of those who identify as women and therefore use those terms/pronouns more often.