We Are Not Children Of A Lesser God. Women In Kenya Are Asking For Quality Always Pads Like Those In The International Market

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Always Sanitary pads image from https://kasha.co.ke/shop/always-ultra-thin-long-duo-8-pads/

By now, you’ve probably seen the social media backlash #MyAlwaysExperience regarding the quality of Always pads in the country. If not, let me bring you up to speed. Women have been talking about their horrible experiences when using Always pads during their periods. A few women were talking about it then last week the issue blew up on social media.

Some went the extra mile of comparing the quality of Always pads in Kenya vs. Western countries like the US and UK.

Majority complained that Always don’t have the same quality product when it comes to the African market, Kenya specifically. Some common complaints about the pad were that it didn’t stick, it was too scented and it contained material that caused irritation. A former employee of Zanaa Sanitary pads tweeted out her experience working in the feminine hygiene industry.

She stated, “Many pads will advertise cottony top layer, but are actually non-woven.”

In a twitter thread that caught public attention, she explained the dangers of this non-woven material especially in hot climates like ours.

There are serious repercussions from using non-woven material on sanitary towels. This material isn’t as absorbent as its cotton counterpart. Therefore, it traps moisture for longer causing irritation and rashes on your skin. This could also result in yeast infections due to the heat and excess moisture.

Always Sanitary pads image from https://kasha.co.ke/shop/always-ultra-thin-long-duo-8-pads/

Additionally, women complained about the scented towels. Years after it became common knowledge that scented products aren’t friendly to your private area, Always pads are still manufacturing scented towels. The question is why? is it because we’re Africans and don’t know any better? Is it because we won’t demand better quality towels?

According to Dr. Mary Jane Minkin, she stated: “those scents react badly with your natural pH, you could be on the road to bacterial vaginosis and other infections.”

So, why would a company make such products that are potentially harmful to the body? And more importantly, why would they be available in the market? It’s the job of Kenya Bureau of Standards to ensure every product coming to the Kenyan market is safe for human use.

For the common citizen, Always is one of the most affordable sanitary towels brands. Therefore, such negligence affects millions of Kenyan women. It’s okay to make affordable pads but it shouldn’t come at the expense of the user’s health. Always pads did not deliver on what they promised. To add salt to injury, they used a PR campaign to try and sanitize the situation.

It’s disheartening that the sanitary towels most of us grew up using is the centre of so much controversy. Eventually, the company issued a statement in regards to the matter.

In this statement, they pointed out that:

  • Always Ultra pads are available in the UK, France, UAE and Egypt as well as Kenya
  • The claim that they offer different standards for different countries was false
  • Women have different period experience and you should try their other products if this one irritates you.

They didn’t offer much of a solution or say they’d look into the matter. Instead, they issued a statement trying to justify themselves which was almost as bad as flying a group of influencers to a resort to try and deescalate the situation.

As of now, there have been more interactive talks with P & G Kenya and various women including Nairobi Women’s Representative, Esther Passaris, Dr. Njoki Ngumi and @TugenGirl who pioneered this discussion on Twitter.

Making substandard quality just because the pads are going to an African market is not only an insult to African people but also, it’s an insult to our womanhood. Periods are already uncomfortable as it is. The least such companies as P & G can do is provide quality products.

There’s no word out yet as to the outcome of the meeting. However, we hope that now, P& G and other pad manufacturers will give African women the best pads that will make it easier for women to go about their business during their menstrual periods with no extra pain or worry about.

Speaking of brands, Brands Need To Be More Authentic To Keep Their Audience’s Attention

 

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