pad power

Nepali Time

 

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WORKING FOR WOMEN: Dharti Mata Sustainable Workshop produces hand-made eco-friendly, cotton menstrual pads. 

“I hope women can reconnect with their bodies, starting from their menstruation,” says Lin Nien-Tzu (Claire), a Taiwanese who set up Dharti Mata (Mother of the Earth) Sustainable Workshop in Patlekhet, near Dhulikhel, to provide local women with jobs producing eco-friendly, cotton menstrual pads. She was nominated as one of the BBC 100 Women 2017.

Inspired during a trip to South India, Claire bought her first bag of cotton pads and brought them to Nepal, where menstruation remains a taboo. An extreme example is the custom of chhaupadi, practised mainly in the western hills, where girls and women are isolated in crude huts during their periods.

 

Claire says her aim is to raise Nepali women’s awareness of menstruation and make them feel confident and comfortable during their periods instead of being constrained by age-old social taboos and practices.

Initially, she interviewed 100 women around Patlekhet about their experiences during periods. “I found women experienced hardship during menstruation. And their response to cotton menstrual pads was positive,” she says. She started Dharti Mata in 2011.

It took her nearly two years to launch the workshop, including finalising sources of raw materials and the production process. “I was quite anxious at the beginning, I am used to the Taiwanese working style where everything is fast and super-efficient,” says Claire.

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The workshop now consists of seven women cutting, sewing and assembling, including Kalpana Khatri (second from right) and Amrita Dhital (third from left).

 

Quick-tempered by nature, she says her experience in Nepal has softened her. “We want to provide women with affordable and eco-friendly cotton, sanitary pads made by women themselves, and it turned out that it’s necessary to spend more time on it.”

The workshop now consists of seven women cutting, sewing and assembling daily from 10am to 4:30pm. The local women ensure things run smoothly, occasionally proposing more productive ways of working.

The village women do the usual farm and housework in the early mornings and after work. “I am proud working here, doing something for women ourselves,” says Kalpana Khatri, the first local to join the workshop.

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Claire recalls meeting Amrita Dhital, who joined Dharti Mata last year. “Amrita came to us for a post in the workshop when we didn’t have any vacancies. We told her it would be helpful if she knew how to sew.” After a year, Amrita returned and announced that she had learnt sewing. “We were amazed,” says Claire. “We could do nothing but employ her.”

Dharti Mata gets active support from village men as well. Bishnu Tiwari, from Hasera Farm, cooks the women’s lunch and snacks. “Women are our treasure, we couldn’t maintain the family without women,” Tiwari says.

When male farmers visit the workshop, the women introduce the cotton pads and explain menstruation to them. “Many male farmers solved the puzzle of feminine physiology, and bought cotton pads for their wives, daughters and granddaughters as souvenirs,” says Claire.

 

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Lin Nien-Tzu (Claire)

Besides selling the pads at the workshop and online, Claire takes them to Taiwan and Kathmandu, including Karma Coffee Nepal in Sanepa, which has been selling Love Ladypads since 2015. Recently Karma started selling menstrual cups too.

“Not only do they buy the pads and menstrual cups as gifts for their friends, many local girls also try these menstrual products themselves,” says employee Suni Dangal. Claire is actively collaborating with other groups to promote sustainable menstrual products. “Some NGOs order pads and take them to girls and women living in high Himalayan regions,” she says.

Looking back on her seven-year experience, Claire says she is proud to have worked with local women, who are now like a family. She adds: “They are grateful for the job we offered, while I am grateful that they helped me to have a job too; we empower each other.”

 

Reference https://archive.nepalitimes.com/article/Nepali-Times-Buzz/pad-power-nepal,4147

 

本立自然良品

台灣總店
電話:+8863 332 5825
營業時間:週三到週六11:00-19:00
地址:330 桃園市桃園區中原路10號
Facebook:本立自然良品
Email:loveladypads@gmail.com

Ananda Tree House

尼泊爾總店
電話: +977 980-8991305
營業時間:9:00-20:00(週六休息)
地址:Phulbari-Ramhiti street, Boudha, Kathmandu
Facebook:Ananda Tree House

Hasera Organic Farm

生產地
電話:+ 977 9841 332443
聯繫:Govinda Sharma
地址:Patalekhet,Nepal
網站:Hasera 有機農場 

本立自然良品 台灣總店

電話:+8863 332 5825
營業時間:週三到週六11:00-19:00
地址:330 桃園市桃園區中原路10號
Facebook:本立自然良品
Email:loveladypads@gmail.com

Ananda Tree House 尼泊爾總店

電話: +977 980-8991305
營業時間:9:00-20:00(週六休息)
地址:Phulbari-Ramhiti street, Boudha, Kathmandu
Facebook:Ananda Tree House

Hasera Organic Farm 生產地

電話:+ 977 9841 332443
聯繫:Govinda Sharma
地址:Patalekhet,Nepal
網站:Hasera 有機農場 
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