Sanitary Pads Project Launched at Monrovia Central Prison
A pilot project aimed at promoting hygiene among female inmates at prisons across Liberia was launched in July at the Monrovia Central Prison (MCP). The project involves training inmates and corrections officers in producing re-usable sanitary pads. The initiative was conceived by the Ministry of Justice (Mo J) and funded by UNMIL. While promoting hygiene among female prison inmates, the project will also empower them economically as the products will be sold at affordable prices in Liberia.
Assistant Justice Minister for Administration Oretha S. Davis said the hygiene project is expected to benefit women inmates in the management of their own health while in detention. Six female inmates including two sentenced and fifteen correction officers were selected for initial training in the production of the sanitary pads. Davis said the inmates and correction officers will also benefit from the project by becoming “consumers of their own products”.
Health and hygiene standards are expected to improve at MCP following ongoing awareness activities at the prison. The sanitary pads will be sold to low income earners in Liberia. David urged female inmates to take the hygiene training seriously for their own health gains.
Madhumita Sarkar, UN Gender Based Violence (UNGBV) Advisor, called for more donor assistance to the women hygiene project. She said young women’s access to sanitary pads will encourage them to continue schooling. She said the sanitary pad project is an extension of women’s capacity building programme started two years ago and called for involvement of men as partners of the project.
The General Manager of Safety Plus, Abba Sheriff, who explained the usage and production methods of the sanitary pad described it as safe, convenient and reusable. “The product is made of sponge and carefully selected water resistant materials designed for multiple uses,” he said. He said production of the sanitary pads is the right step forward for the promotion of hygiene amongst women, particularly low income earners.
The head of Women Section at MCP, Krubo Siryon, appealed to UNMIL for material assistance to those who will graduate from the hygiene and sanitary production training programme. Siryou said if given material assistance, the graduates would be able to fully utilize the skills acquired from the programme.
The project will be extended later to other prison centers across Liberia.