What is Shomota?
Shomota is a social enterprise located in the city of Kolkata, India. We produce reusable cloth sanitary pads to empower bleeding women. These pads are available for purchase around the world. Along with the manufacturing and selling of cloth pads, we have a social responsibility to empower girls and women in India with the information they need about their menstrual cycle.
"Shomota", in the Bengali language, means equality and we are working towards equality and empowerment of women through health education and care of the environment.
- We employ women from marginalized communities to produce our pads. These woman are paid a fair wage and are the primary income earners for their families.
- We visit women's groups, schools and NGO's to conduct menstrual education seminars and workshops related to female health education and menstrual care. In these seminars time is given to address questions and concerns regarding the treatment of women and cultural perspectives of females value and misconceptions regarding the perfectly normal, woman's menstrual cycle.
- Our pads are environmentally friendly and come in a variety of sizes and options for addressing a woman's needs for her cycle. The pads are reusable for up to 5 years and can save a woman a lot of money during that time, not to mention to cutting down on the amount of waste produced each month through the use of disposable pads. The pads are chemical free and a healthy choice for women who need to be empowered to advocate for their own health.
- 70% of women in India use old rags to address their periods!
What Will the Money Go Towards?
All money raised will go towards the following needs:
- Providing classes and seminars for women and girls. We recently signed an agreement with the Indian government to provide up to 8 seminars per month at a network of clubs and women's groups around the city!
- Purchase of more sewing machines, which will allow us to hire more women!
- Provide a stipend for 3 women as they are trained in their sewing and assembly of our pads!
- Marketing and Advertising of our pads (particularly within India)
- Our Shomota Family! We believe that community is important and want to make sure we take time to mark special events together, like a monthly Red Tent meeting and activities for Menstrual Hygiene Day on May 28th!
So, Why Support Shomota?
News regarding the mistreatment of our planet, through a disposable-oriented life style and the continued mistreatment of women all around the world is a regular thing. And we believe that we are invited to be a part of the movement towards health and wholeness; for us humans and for our planet.
- Through the production of reusable pads, we are providing a healthy (chemical, and plastic free) option for women to address their menstrual needs. Reusable pads are known to last up to 5 years!
- We hire women who (culturally) have been marginalised because of lack of literary education, or marriage status, or where they live and provide them with training and a fair wage, of which their hours are flexible depending on their personal needs.
- We actively engage in the larger, systemic, need for discussion about menstruation with young women and educate them in regards to their cycles and the inherent value that each one possesses. We create a space for them to ask any and all questions they may have, which is particularly unheard of in a culture where menstruation is very much regarded as a negative and unclean topic. Last year we were able to provide seminars for over 800 women!
- Our Pads for Empowerment program provides a culturally sensitive (inconspicuous) style of pad for women in urban-concentrated areas at rates that they can afford.
Other Ways You Can Help:
We need help in a variety of ways!
- Tell your friends about us, share our fundraising page! Share our website links (www.shomota.com)(www.shomotapads.com) and follow us on twitter (@shomotawomen) and instagram (@shomotawomen) and become our Facebook friend! Check us out on Pinterest (@shomotawomen)
- Help us get connected with people interested in purchasing or even helping sell, our pads!
- Check out our "Get Involved" page on our website for other ideas!