Teen Vogue picks up My Always Experience after KOT saga
Teen Vogue picked up MyAlwaysExperience, a hashtag started by Kenyans on Twitter, after it re-emerged on Wednesday with women across the world lamenting over the Always sanitary towels.
Scheaffer Okore started the hashtag in Kenya to express her frustration with Always pads that was causing burns, rashes and skin irritation.
“My intent was to give women an opportunity to talk about their bodies without shame of menstruation while exploring obvious disparities, neglect and contempt with which this very process is responding to with provision of Always pads that are harmful to women’s bodies specifically those sold in the global south. I want accountability because Kenyan women and girls and at large African women and girls deserve quality pads like those in the global north,” she told Citizen Digital.
Soon other women from as far as South Africa and Nigeria had joined in, revealing similar experiences with the brand. Some even posted pictures of the Always pads, comparing the quality with those made abroad.
On Wednesday, #MyAlwaysExperience re-emerged with women from across the globe expressing their dismay.
“This is scary..I recently went to the doctors due to irritation, I’ve used these pads for ages and it was happening monthly, I thought it was hormones due to my period, changed my pad brand and now I’m fine,” said Ferna Maguire from the U.K.
“I used Always for years. I not only developed skin problems but also Bartholin cysts. It got so bad that my doctor had to ask me to use anything but this brand. After research I found how to make pads scented they were using toxic dioxins that causes cancer and other problems,” said Javaria Waseem from Pakistan.
Finally someone said it! I’ve waited for this moment. Same goes for always Nigeria. It burns and scars so bad. Literally could only use imported ones,” @Tonii__A said.
“I’m Canadian & I’ve used both. The quality is SUBSTANTIALLY different. I can’t travel anywhere without enough pads to last the duration of my trip,” said Asiya Said.
“In 2014, @women4earth did a study on Always pads. Results indicated that both scented & unscented Always pads emit toxic chemicals, including chemicals identified by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services National Toxicology Program,” Isabel Chaudry said.
Teen Vogue then picked up the story citing how Always Kenya responded to the complaints that went viral on social media.
The American magazine noted that they had also reached out to the parent company Proctor & Gamble over the #MyAlwaysExperience.
The article further cited a study in the Indian Journal of Dermatology which examined a condition referred to as sanitary pad dermatitis.
Research was conducted on a 38-year-old patient who suffered itching and burning sensation.
“Concerning the inductive agent, the material used for the manufacture of sanitary pads is expected to be the main allergen, as there was no change observed when sanitary pad of another manufacturer was used. Indeed, methyldibromo glutaronitrile in sanitary pads is the main inductive agent,” the article in the Indian Journal of Dermatology reads.
Teen Vogue also quoted NPR which reported that Always pads may be more accessible in Kenya after the Government introduced the free sanitary pads program in schools.
The article is titled The Problem With Free Menstrual Pads.
All these while those responsible for ensuring Kenyan women have access to quality affordable sanitary products went dead silent because to them #MyAlwaysExperience meant absolutely nothing of importance.
— Scheaffer Okore (@scheafferoo) October 24, 2019
When you think Twitter is not important, just look at how this campaign has spiraled thanks to @scheafferoo and @tugengirl giving a platform to women voices ❤️ #myalwaysexperience https://t.co/XEG3p3J8dp
— IgatChu (@I_Gathu) October 24, 2019
No one will understand the trauma of wearing a pad that burns & causes rashes,
add period pains on top of that,
firstly you don't know whether you are imagining things or what's happening. 😢
With the period stigma…who do you talk to?#MyAlwaysExperience
— Nokuzola Ndwandwe South African Activist: MHM🇿🇦 (@ZolaNdwandwe) October 16, 2019
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