Crunchy Chicken has started an organization that doesn't just recognize this connection, but helps us to extend our good will and compassion to others in a concrete and practical way. Goods 4 Girls is an organization that provides reusable menstrual pads for girls in Africa. People can donate money to the organization, or sew the reusable pads themselves to donate.
Often girls in African countries are prevented from going to school, because they do not have adequate supplies to deal with their menstruation while they are there. Often, girls will stop going to school altogether after they reach puberty. The Goods 4 Girls site has a lot of eye-opening information about how menstruation can be a barrier, practically and culturally, to so many things that we in the western world just take for granted.
Even with the use of my Diva Cup and Luna Pads, there are days I'd like to wimp out and stay home from work. But imagine if you were prevented from going to work or school, just because you didn't have any reliable menstrual supplies at all, and had to use rags, or newspaper or animal skins to absorb your menstrual flow.
Some makers of disposable feminine hygiene products are getting kudos for donating their products to girls in these countries. But don't kid yourselves - this isn't because they want to be generous. It's because they want to expand their market and make money off those who can least afford it. It's part of the spread of the culture of waste and disposability that has helped to get the world into the over-consumptive mess we're in now. Plus, disposable menstrual products also contribute to the underlying societal message that menstrual blood is 'dirty' and is 'garbage.' It's not. Its part of the natural cycle that brings us ALL into being. Into the One Family.
Tao Te Ching, Chapter 6:
The valley spirit, undying
Is called the Mystic Female
The gateway of the Mystic Female
Is called the root of Heaven and Earth
It flows continuously, barely perceptible
When utilized, it is never exhausted