Supporting our sisters

The Unconquered Project empowers women to manufacture and sell affordable sanitary products  in India. The problem of poor menstrual hygiene might be ‘unconquered’ but, more importantly, these sisters have a fighting spirit that is also ‘unconquered’!

Aparajita pads

keep girls in school

Around 23% of girls in India actually drop out of school after they start menstruating. And for those that do stay in school, inadequate menstrual protection means these girls will miss 5 days of school every month – that’s 50 days a year!

Affordable, accessible sanitary pads are important when you know that a girl’s future income will increase by 10-25% for each extra year of education she receives. It is estimated that when a girl receives seven or more years of education, she marries four years later and has 2.2 fewer children, giving her the opportunity to reach her full potential. And an educated mother is more than twice as likely to educate her daughters… so even the generational cycle of poverty and illiteracy can be changed through a simple sanitary pad!

Aparajita pads come with

menstrual education

Each packet of pads includes a calendar to help girls start to track their period. Education ranges from the simple ‘how to use a pad’, hygienic use and disposal, right through to understanding menstrual cycle, your inherent worth as a woman, combatting social stigmas. All our marketing and sales focus on education and awareness – by women, for women.

Aparajita pads give

economic independence

Local women are trained and employed to manufacture the Aparajita sanitary pads. The raw material is cut, sewn, UV treated and sealed into packets of six pads. These packets are then marketed and sold by other local women. This economic independence brings dignity and opportunity for these women manufacturers and sellers.

Aparajita pads are

affordable

Aparajita pads are priced by the local team on the ground. The price is not included on the packet but is stamped on according to the needs of the community. For example, where we are distributing to hospitals or organisations, the price will be slightly higher than it will be for rural, at-risk women and girls. The same high-quality product is offered in both situations but one price subsidises the other. The lower price is also managed using the simple distribution method of woman-to-woman sales.

Aparajita pads are

accessible​

The finished packs of Aparajita pads are given to local women to sell woman-to-woman (aka door-to-door) within their communities. We call this ‘last mile access’ – ensuring pads are always readily available to women and girls. Last mile access overcomes simple barriers such as the shop being too far away or cultural shame associated with purchasing from a male. We will also install simple vending machines in schools.

our goals

awareness + affordability + accessibility

  • Build a facility and purchase machinery for the first sanitary pad factory
  • Train 5 women to manufacture Aparajita sanitary pads.
  • Train 5 women to market and sell the sanitary pads
  • Complete production of our first 50,000 packets of Aparajita pads

We will continue to evaluate and improve so that we can start a second factory as soon as possible.

Fundraise, make a donation or purchase from our shop