Shomota is a social enterprise located in the major city of Kolkata, India. Started in December 2014, we started producing reusable cloth sanitary pads for women in India who have limited access to healthy choices for addressing their menstrual needs.
“Shomota”, in the Bengali language, means equality and we are working towards equality and empowerment of women through education and health and care of the environment.
- We employ women from marginalized communities to produce our pads using local, organic fabric. These woman are paid a fair wage and are primary income earners for their families.
- We employ a social worker who visits womens groups, schools and NGO’s to conduct 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.
A reported 37% (only) of girls are aware of their menstruation before menarche.
- 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!
All money raised will go towards the following needs:
- Providing classes and seminars for women and girls. We recently signed an agreement to provide up to 8 seminars per month at a network of clubs and womens groups around the city!
- Purchase of Juki Brand electric sewing machines, which will allow our ladies to assemble the pads much more efficiently than through our foot-peddle machines.
- Provide a stipend for 3 women as they are trained in their sewing and assembly of our pads, for 3 months!
- Marketing and Advertising of our pads (particularly within India)
- Life together. We believe that community is important and want to make sure we take time to mark special events together, like the Shomota birthday on December 31st!
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 a movement to 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 other ideas!