#3 Meet the heroes part 1: WoMena
June 22, 2017

Hello friends!

Only 23 days to go before the start of the long and winding road to Cape Town – I’ve always been a beatles fan -,
I think it’s about time to introduce the heroes to whom I dedicate every pedal stroke leading to Table Mountain!

As you may have read in the charity section, I cycle in honor of two NGO’s that contribute positively to people in Africa.

I would like to introduce my heroes at WoMena, they describe themselves as:

an NGO working with adoption of reproductive health solutions in developing contexts. We build evidence, design comprehensive menstrual and reproductive health interventions, raise awareness and advocate for integration and scale up of reproductive health innovations, particularly the menstrual cup“.

The menstrual cup, also known as Ruby cup, Diva Cup, or Organicup, is the current focus of WoMena’s work to implement innovations. In my opinion it illustrates perfectly WoMena’s “core competence” of tackling issues: it demonstrates how relatively simple innovations can positively impact lives and communities when they are implemented with passion.

Please have a look at how this is done in practice:

“A quarter of the world’s population menstruate, yet many cannot afford to buy hygienic materials to manage it. This causes problems with schooling, work and infections. In high income countries women are increasingly using the menstrual cup, but it has not been widely available in low income countries despite a high potential. WoMena is a young, non-governmental organisation. The organization consists of Public Health, Anthropology, Development and Sociology professionals who are passionate about social issues in Africa related to gender, reproductive health and menstrual hygiene management.”

In WoMena we believe that menstrual health is fundamental to advancing human rights, education and gender equality. We are proud to be working across countries to empower and educate communities, men and women, to feel positively about periods and to not let anyone being held back from educational and work opportunities due to menstrual issues.”

A longer video, made for the occasion of menstrual hygiene day (28th May) explains how WoMena started:

Happy Menstrual Hygiene Day!Today 28th of May is Menstrual Hygiene Day celebrated worldwide to break the taboo and promote education on menstruation. WoMena is celebrating this day with a new video about our work to promote menstrual health through education and innovative menstrual products such as the menstrual cup and reusable pads.Learn about our successful model for introducing reproductive health technologies in Uganda and how it all started.Special thanks to Muyingo SiRaj for the film production and Tom Saater for footage.Join our global movement and support our work with your membership: http://womena.dk/membership/#MHDay2017 #MenstruationMatters #PositivePeriod

Posted by WoMena on Sonntag, 28. Mai 2017

I personally visited WoMena’s office in Kampala Uganda last year, and I was very impressed with the energy and passion of the people working at WoMena. They combine solid scientific knowledge with a hands-on “let’s get things done” mentality. This is why I feel WoMena and cycling make a great match. Cycling for menstrual cycles reflects two drivers of WoMena:

  • It’s all in our heads: changing things for the better, implies first and foremost a change of mind. By embarking on what seems to be a crazy journey at first, I want to demonstrate that in most cases the most important aspect is the mental part. Menstrual hygiene management is also related to fighting the social taboo that still surrounds menstruation. Therefore WoMena’s quest of educating and sensibilization people – men and women – is key.
  • The involvement of men: the link between cycling across Africa and menstrual hygiene is also more subtle: to me it symbolizes that direct involvement in menstrual hygiene – as a personal problem – is not needed to care for a cause. Girls and women are the backbone of our society, and their well being should be of interest to everyone. I believe the well being of women, and their involvement in all aspects of society, is a thermometer of how well a society is developing. Therefore, I am happy to be a special kind of ambassador for WoMena :).


If you would like to donate to WoMena you can do so on this account:
IBAN: DK3284010001287442          SWIFT (BIC) : mekudk

Please add “road to cape town” in the description when you donate, as well as your name and address, so we can keep track of donations.

You can also consider to become a member of WoMena: http://womena.dk/membership/

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