Makapads For Female Empowerment


Kampala, Uganda


Hygine Products

The collaboration ended in January 2023.

The Challenge

Barriers to Menstrual Hygiene in Rural Areas

In rural areas of Uganda, the lack of access to affordable and readily available menstrual hygiene products poses a significant challenge for girls and women. Many resort to using rags, which can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. Additionally, traditional pads often clog pit toilets and strain the already fragile sewage systems. Restricted access to menstrual hygiene products leads to missed school days and hinders girls’ educational opportunities and overall development.
Makapads worker flap cutting


MakaPads worker layering papyrus


The innovation

Biodegradable Sanitary Pads from Papyrus

MakaPads, headquartered in Kampala, Uganda, has introduced a groundbreaking solution by offering biodegradable sanitary towels made from papyrus and recycled paper. Manufactured locally, MakaPads are sterilized naturally using the sun’s UV light. The pads are distributed through village shops, making them more readily available and affordable for rural communities. As they are primarily made of natural ingredients, they are less likely to clog pit latrines, alleviating environmental concerns.


Why Makapads?

MakaPads addresses the critical need for affordable and accessible menstrual hygiene products in rural areas of Uganda. By providing girls with affordable sanitary pads, MakaPads empowers them to stay in school consistently throughout the year, opening doors to a brighter future. The initiative recognizes the importance of education in personal development, improved health practices, increased employment opportunities, and breaking the cycle of poverty.


Key Facts

Start-Up Impact

  • Sustainable income through green jobs in local production
  • Less period poverty
  • Increased lifetime earnings due to higher attendance/ school completion rates
  • Made from renewable, locally sourced papyrus and paper waste
  • 95% biodegradable
  • Better menstrual hygiene – fewer menstrual health issues
  • Less chafing/ allergic reactions thanks to natural ingredients
  • Higher menstrual hygiene awareness in rural areas

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