In case you don't know, due to the high cost/unavailability of feminine hygiene products they are not accessible to many girls and women in developing countries. If they have access to education once girls start menstruating this often means they will start missing school. Then they end up falling behind. And more likely to drop out, and continue the cycle of poverty and more likely to end up a young wife and mother. Also for adult women this can cause problems with being able to keep up with their livelihood full time. In some places some girls/women prostitute themselves for money for menstrual hygiene products....
I knew about the problems of feminine hygiene in developing countries but I thought it would be best solved by cloth pads until I read more about it.
So about this company. First of all, they are having a Christmas Campaign Special, where you Buy a Ruby Cup for yourself and one is given to a girl in school in Africa.
Companies History: A couple women ended up in the same business school in Denmark. They came up with this company idea and moved to Kenya to do this.
Reasons cups out-perform cloth pads for women in developing countries:
1. Water use - Cups use less water in their use and cleaning. (when you think about the number of pads a women would use a cycle it is quite clear).
2. Drying and Storage - You don't have a electric dryer... Best way to get cloth pads dry after washing? Exposure to air and UV rays (UV rays help kill some microbes). So, hanging on a clothes line, or perhaps laying on a clean surface outside. However they found that many girls/women were too embarrassed to put their cloth pads out like that, and stored them unsafely (i.e. in closed dark moist places, like under a mattress).
3. It works solo - What, pads don't? Well, due to culture and availability, we probably all own underwear. Without some kinda of belt/straps, pads are useless without underwear.
4. Cup's Capacity - About double, halving the trips to the bathroom even for women with heavy flows.
They understand that the biggest barrier to their use (anywhere really) is education. So they start with educating women their anatomy and bodily functions to de-stigmatize it and empower them. They also provide employment to women in Kenya using female entrepreneurs doing direct woman to woman sales. Having local women sell it also overcomes some cultural and language barriers.
They have been in Kenya a year now I think
There are still issues other than water and cultural/religious barriers. There are women who, even when they educated regarding this, choose to share cloth pads as they don't have enough to go around. That could happen with menstrual cups too, as long as they are not synchronized anyways, not because they weren't told/don't know, but because they don't have the resources to have one for each female family member between puberty and menopause.