By Gillian Singer
Maggie Duncan Simbeye is the Executive Director and Founder of Dare Women’s Foundation, a Tanzanian-based non-governmental organization whose mission statement is as follows:
“The Dare Women’s Foundation is an NGO working to empower Tanzanian women and girls, with a focus on rural areas, through poverty alleviation, social justice, economic empowerment, and gender equality.”
Simbeye and her team are currently working in northern regions of Tanzania to alleviate the lack of feminine hygiene care, malnutrition, lack of education, premature marriage, and lack of contraception and sex education.
Simbeye emphasizes ceminine hygiene. According to her website,
“Many Tanzanian women, especially in rural areas, do not have access to feminine hygiene products because stores are far away and it is expensive to afford them each month. They use old cloth and cornhusks instead, which can cause fungal infections and embarrassing leaks and odors. This creates a barrier to their work and education because many girls skip school and work during menstruation.”
What is Maggie’s solution? To create, organize, and distribute reusable sanitary pads. Reusable pads are cheaper, more environmentally friendly, and last longer than reusable pads.
Along with providing sanitary menstrual napkins, Dare provides opportunities for girls to play rugby, learn nutrition, conservation, and entrepreneurship, and empower themselves.
Want to learn more or get involved? Visit darewomensfoundation.org for information, patterns handbooks to make reusable pads, and updates.