CouldYou? is working to ensure that no girl in Mozambique will miss school because of menstruation

Our solution? The menstrual cup.

In developing countries like Mozambique, there are a number of issues related to menstruation which not only impact women’s health, but also their development and quality of life.

These issues are particularly detrimental for girls.

Menstruation is heavily stigmatized due to a lack of education and cultural beliefs, which can limit girls’ access to hygiene and interaction with their community. Facilities such as separate women’s or private bathrooms—or those with running water and soap—often do not exist, making it challenging for girls to change sanitary products and wash. Girls also have limited options for feminine hygiene products and may have to use “traditional” methods such as cloths, papers or leaves, which can be uncomfortable and allow leakage onto clothes. Where options such as pads do exist, they are often cost prohibitive. Over 80% of the population lives on less than $2 a day and approximately 60% of the population lives in severe poverty, so families prioritize their spending on food and other essentials.

1 in 10

Girls in Africa miss school during menstruation


live in severe poverty


live on less than $2 a day

These challenges lead to more serious issues such as reproductive diseases caused by poor menstrual hygiene, and contribute to school absenteeism. According to the United Nations Children’s Fund, one in ten African girls do not attend school during menstruation. In addition, girls may refrain from participating in physical activities and have a lower level of confidence.

The Solution

The menstrual cup has been used in America since the 1930’s, are certified safe by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are environmentally responsible since one cup can be used for up to 15 years. Benefits of the menstrual cup include:

  • Cost Effective

    • One menstrual cup costs US$10 and it lasts 10 years! CY will further subsidize the price to be an affordable option.
    • CY also provides health education to girls on the topics of menstruation and use of the cup
  • Better for girls’ health

    • The menstrual cup does not absorb the body’s natural defense mechanisms, rather it allows the body to continue its essential cleansing and protective functions.
    • The medical grade silicon menstrual cups contain no bleaches, deodorizers, absorbency gels or pesticides. They do not cause irritation and are perfectly suitable for women with sensitive skin or allergies.
    • Our menstrual cup is FDA approved and eliminates the risk of toxic shock syndrome
    • Menstrual cups are comfortable, odorless and leak-proof, and do not have to be removed when using the bathroom.
    • Girls can safely wear them for up to 12 hours without having to change them.
  • Better for the environment

    • The average woman throws away around 240 tampons per year. Unlike pads and tampons, menstrual cups are reusable, eliminating ALL waste and the need to carry bulky spares.

CouldYou? brought together the right partners in Mozambique, including the Chissano Foundation, PSI, and Metanoia Global, with support from the Ministries of Health and Education, to initiate a study on the acceptability and feasibility of the menstrual cups. This study will be completed in 2018 with girls in both urban and rural environments. The study will be integrated into current girls’ health initiatives in schools and will be conducted with the utmost respect for cultural sensitivities, in close collaboration with the impacted communities.

It is our goal to lead the rollout of menstrual cups across Mozambique and potentially other African countries. In doing so, we hope to make an important contribution to the global body of knowledge around menstrual health, which is increasingly being recognized as a priority.

Join Us

CouldYou? is dedicated to creating a world where NO girl misses school because she can’t afford menstrual products. We are working on a messaging campaign to educate communities, schools and girls on menstrual health and the option of the menstrual cup.

$10 can keep a girl in school for 10 years!