Home NewsMiddle East The Overlooked Need for Sanitary Products Amid Severe Shortages in Gaza

The Overlooked Need for Sanitary Products Amid Severe Shortages in Gaza

by Thaabit Kamaar


Gaza – Due to the severe shortage of water, food, shelter, medicine, and other humanitarian necessities in Gaza, the urgent need for sanitary products is a critical yet often overlooked issue.

In an interview with Salaamedia, Mooniba Bhyat, CEO of Developing Ambitious Resilient Entrepreneurs (DARE), emphasised the severity of the problem faced by women in Gaza and other war-torn regions. In response, her organisation has initiated sewing projects to provide and teach women how to make washable menstrual pads.

“We handed out our pads on the Syrian-Turkey border. We asked the women to give us feedback on how viable it was for them to use and how easy it was to manufacture, and the feedback has been very positive.

“Then, obviously, we were waiting to see when we could ship these washable pads across to Gaza, which was almost impossible because we knew the trucks were all being stopped. We didn’t want to send these washable pads when nobody knew what to do with them. So that is something that’s part of the projects that we are doing.”

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Menstrual Cups for Gaza

Continuing, Bhyat highlighted how effective washable menstrual pads had been with women in the Syrian refugee camps she had visited. However, they are not always sufficient in extreme conditions where water is scarce, such as in Gaza.

She mentioned that within three weeks of Israel’s ethnic cleansing campaign, her organisation received reports from women stating they had no menstrual products and had to use cut-up fabrics from their tents. Some even resorted to using birth control pills to stop their periods.

Given these dire conditions, the DARE organisation considered menstrual cups a more practical and sustainable solution for the women in Gaza, as they can be reused.

Bhyat expressed gratitude, noting that since the campaign’s launch coinciding with Menstrual Hygiene Month, they have surpassed their target of collecting 10,000 menstrual cups thanks to generous donor contributions.

“In Gaza, because the need is so urgent and we were not sure what the challenges of water and all the rest are, menstrual cups have become a good option for older women. I’m not talking about children; these are for older women who are married, have used disposable pads and may have used tampons. So, these are cups that women can use, and these cups last for years.”

For those interested in supporting this cause, Bhyat and her organisation are active on social media, and you are encouraged to visit their website for more information. They welcome additional involvement and donations to help expand the reach and impact of their humanitarian efforts.

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