2. Banana Leaf Sanitary Pads. Elizabeth Scharpf, founder and CEO of Sustainable Health Enterprises (S.H.E.), is working to address a major underlying cause of female absenteeism in school and in the workplace: mensutruation. The alarmingly high rates of absenteeism in schools and in the workplace that resulted from women reluctant to come during their menstrual periods is a reality in many developing countries. The #1 reason? Sanitary pads are too expensive. In order to create a more affordable option, S.H.E. now works with local Rwandan women to manufacture and distribute affordable, quality, and eco-friendly sanitary pads made from banana tree fibers. Since 2009, S.H.E has also trained 5,000 Rwandan women to set up their own sanitary napkin micro-enterprises. Scharpf has become part of the movement that Nicholas Kristof calls the D.I.Y. Foreign Aid Revolution.
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