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VMLY&R Colombia’s ‘Proud Legacy’ Sewing Studio Is Dedicated to Defeating Menstrual Poverty


Initiative from WaterAid Colombia teaches women to sew their own sanitary pads and rethink them with innovation

VMLY&R Colombia’s ‘Proud Legacy’ Sewing Studio Is Dedicated to Defeating Menstrual Poverty

One out of two women from vulnerable communities in Colombia live in menstrual poverty, as they cannot afford sanitary pads due to their limited income (sanitary pad expenses for women in these communities surpass their daily income by 148%). This lack of access to proper hygiene products leads to the use of unsuitable items like toilet paper, rags, and socks, resulting in infections and reproductive health issues. Additionally, the stigma around menstruation and a lack of education causes young women to skip almost 20% of school days. 

VMLY&R created, 'Proud Legacy', a sewing studio dedicated to defeating menstrual poverty by teaching three generations of women to sew their own sanitary pads and rethink them with innovation and at the same time, the women share knowledge across generations in a safe space from menstruation-stigma. 

Natalia León, country director of WaterAid Colombia, said: “We all have the right to live without fear. Losing the fear of our own body is the first step. Nothing that naturally happens in our bodies makes us unworthy. Honoring the natural is destiny. Educating ourselves on the subject is the way. Without knowledge, there is fear; with fear, there will never be dignity; without water, there is no freedom. Today we raise our voices in Colombia for a life where our body is respected and being a woman is a source of pride." 

Julián Núñez, CCO, VMLY&R Colombia: "Proud legacy is not just about promoting action but creating a better future. By fighting menstrual poverty in Tomarrazon, we are ensuring that every woman has access to their basic menstrual rights and building a foundation for a more equitable and empowered society. With this idea we are proud of the transformation and changes in women's life, inspiring their passion that continues working towards a world where everyone has access to the resources they need to thrive."

Inspired by their afro-indigenous heritage, VMLY&R designed sanitary pads reimagined with innovation and fabric patterns that use a blood colour shade guide to help them prevent health conditions.

Proud Legacy guaranteed Tomarrazón's access to hygiene tools for four years. The agency provided a lasting solution to menstrual poverty. Tomarrazon became the first town in Colombia to eradicate menstrual poverty. The sewing studio is now replicable throughout Colombia. 


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Categories: Charity, Corporate, Social and PSAs

VMLY&R Colombia, Wed, 05 Apr 2023 14:48:00 GMT