-sanitary water to drink
-ample food of infinite variety
-hot water in the shower, the shower itself
The list is endless. Now add to the list (if you are a woman) the products you use for menstruation. Whether you have a real period (the result of ovulation, when cycles are unmediated by external hormones) or a fake one (withdrawal bleeding which results when you stop taking your pills or remove your ring or patch or whatever), chances are that you bleed about once a month, and when you do, you use pads or tampons or a reusable cup or something sanitary and cheap that you take completely for granted. Imagine being so poor that you had nothing with which to catch your flow, and little access to water for washing clothes and rags. What would you do? Would you go to school, or work? Now you understand (intellectually) the plight of millions of women around the world. An innovative project, run by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, is helping women in Uganda have access to affordable sanitary pads. It is also providing income for about 60 Congolese refugees who now have an environmentally sustainable way to earn a living, in a model program that they hope to expand to other countries. Check out this article about pads from papyrus.