Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Something Cool that Tampax and Always are Doing

I just saw a commercial for Tampax, and they're doing a cool campaign to get feminine hygiene products to girls in Africa.

For some girls in Southern Africa, getting their period means missing school for several days each month. That's because they don't have access to something many of us take for granted: feminine protection.Helping girls stay in school is critical. An education gives them a future. It helps build better lives - not just for them, but for their families and their communities.

I never knew that this was a problem, but now that I know it is, it makes a lot sense. This program provides pads and education about puberty. You can even buy t-shirts with the message "Use your period for good" (I love that slogan!). A dollar from each t-shirt sold goes to the program. That's not much, but I'm sure it ads up.

And I just added a badge on the side of the blog. Add a badge to your blog!


polchic said...

Hi. Just stumbled across your blog as I was googling to see what other women were saying about this ad campaign. I'm not crazy about it. What is it about the slogan that you like?

Here's my latest post on the subject.

Curious to hear what you think.

On a side note, its always great to find another fem blogger. Keep writing.



Ily said...

Hey, just stopped by from Feministing. I agree, this is a cool idea, and an issue that honestly would never occur to me. However, I do think it would a lot better to be giving these kids Mooncups or some other re-usable thing that they could actually use again and again, rather than tampons which they'll need an endless supply of...

FEMily! said...

Hey, ily. While Mooncups and other reusable products are more eco-friendly, I don't know how non-Western cultures would respond to them. From the look of the campaign's website, it looks like they're only donating pads, not tampons, even though Tampax is sponsoring the campaign as well. People in rural Africa might think that using tampons or cups is sexual, so pads are probably the best option for them.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I'm actually really concerned about this campaign, and furthermore, calling it "feminist" or "progressive" as implied by your site. The campaign's website says they're giving 1.4 mil to a UN program, which is awesome and better than not giving, but I'm concerned about how much they're spending telling us all about it. Period visibility is sweet, but African exploitation? I find it to be a marketing goldmine with an activist afterthought, instead of the other way around. Just putting that out the rest of the blog :o)

FEMily! said...

I'm not sure how the campaign exploits Africans. The African girls are getting something from the campaign. I don't think that Tampax and Always are using these girls solely for their own gain, and the girls are being helped. But you're right about one thing. The advertising usually costs more than how much the corporation is donating to the cause, and that always bugs me. I think corproations should always donate their products to poor people around the world.

I think a feminist argument can be made in support of the campaign as well as in opposition to it. I think it's great that there are mixed opinions about it. Feminists are a diverse crew.

Anonymous said...

Proctor and Gamble News Release:

According to research, 1 in 10 school-age African girls do not attend school during menstruation or drop out at puberty because of the lack of clean and private sanitation facilities in schools. And, if a girl has no access to protective materials or if the materials she has are unreliable and cause embarrassment, she may be forced to stay at home while menstruating. This absence of approximately 4 days every 4 weeks may result in the girl missing 10 to 20 percent of her school days. The Protecting Futures program will provide products and services to help keep girls in school as well as help foster the overall health and well-being of every child in the targeted school communities.

Some comments from the blog on the website:

3) If only 1/10 girls miss school, what are the other 9/10 doing already?
4) Not only is P&G going to “help” the 1/10 girls but they are probably going to influence the other girls who already have sustainable methods of “managing” their menses.
5) P&G is going to make all/most girls reliant on imported products which cost money, drain resources, pollute the environment when produced and create a nightmare for disposal.

Follow the link:

Do you believe P&G "cares"? No - they are out to spread their products to new markets. I guess its a nice thought...

FEMily! said...

I know those weren't your arguments, but I don't know what the original source is! But here are my views about it.

I don't know what the other 90% of girls are doing about their periods. How is that a legitimate argument against providing the 10% with a problem with products that will help them tremendously? Secondly, I don't know how this program will influence the other girls' patterns of managing their periods. Third, if "all/most" girls are going to have to rely on foreign companies for their feminine hygiene products, then the first point you mentioned no longer applies. I mean, you can't first say that only a minority of girls are going to benefit from the program, and then say that the majority of girls are going to be dependent on the same program. Lastly, like I said to ily, there might be some cultural objections to using reusable products because they're inserted into the vagina. Anything else would go against their values, and we can't just introject Western values on a different group for any reason.