What Is Period Poverty and How Do We End It?

Cici Underwear Partners with Refugees to Save a Nation Foundation


You’re a young woman living in South Sudan and you get your period. But you don’t have any sanitary items on you. Or at home. And you can't afford to buy any.

You have a family to support and a list of errands to run for the day. Maybe, you’re even thinking about going back to school to further your education.

How are you going to manage without a single tampon or pad?

Rags sometimes work but washing them and then drying them for the next month is a lot of work. Plus, you can rarely afford new pieces of cloth.

This is period poverty. The financial struggle that women and girls face while trying to afford sanitary products.

But that’s not the only form of period poverty that a lot of women around the world face.

Let’s look at it in a different way.

Each morning we reach into our closet and grab some clean underwear for the day.

Most of us are lucky enough to have underwear for the rest of the week before having to put on a load of washing. Some of us even have an endless choice of underwear: seamless underwear, g-strings, briefs.

For women in South Sudan owning even one pair of underwear is a luxury.

Many organisations are working to combat period poverty by distributing sanitary products. But what happens when you receive a pad but have no underwear to stick it to? Do you stick it directly onto your pants? What if you're wearing a dress or skirt?

Lack of underwear is also a form of period poverty, and in South Sudan, it’s only too common.


How Period Poverty Affects Everyday Life

Going without underwear and sanitary items highlights the lack of access that women have to health resources and care. It's also an issue of gender inequality; creating overwhelming and difficult conditions for women to live, work and raise a family in.

This lack of access to basic, everyday products is also a major health challenge.

Poor menstrual hygiene can increase a woman's risk of developing certain health complications. Complications such as reproductive issues or contracting a urinary tract infection (UTI).

But the issues of period poverty aren't just health related. It can impact a woman's entire life and overall well-being.

Simple tasks such as leaving your house become a lot more difficult.

Girls on their periods may be unable to attend school and be excluded from participating in classroom activities. All because they don't have a single pair of underwear.

How Is Cici Changing This?

Cici’s mission is to provide every woman in the world with the underwear they deserve.

For every pair sold, Cici donates a pair to women in need. Cici has already donated thousands of pairs of underwear.

The foundation of Cici Underwear is based on women supporting women. “Women Supporting Women drives everything we do, from our significant and continuous investment into product development, to encouraging women to embrace their bodies, power, sexuality, and of course to our Pair for Pair policy,” says Founder of Cici Underwear, @elle.cici

Cici underwear is designed by women to be both comfortable AND sexy.

Cici work with specifically chosen partner organisations that share these values. Organisations that are always looking for ways to empower women in social, economic, and political spaces.

We’ve Partnered with Refugees to Save a Nation Foundation

In case you haven't already read the good news...

Cici Underwear is thrilled to celebrate our partnership with Refugees to Save a Nation (RSN) Foundation.

We are grateful to have developed such an outstanding partnership. One that enables Cici to honour our pledge and donate one pair of underwear for every pair purchased.

Using this Pair for Pair model, Cici has donated hundreds of pairs of underwear to RSN Foundation in the time we've been working together. Every single pair of underwear donated has been distributed straight to women who have needed it the most.

Our shared core values are a big reason why Cici Underwear chose to partner with RSN Foundation.

They’re a South Sudanese based non-profit organisation, with a focus on empowering women and providing girls with an education.

RSN Foundation’s work is all about impacting the lives of women in practical and tangible ways.

Let’s Break Down the Pair for Pair Donation Model

Underlying Cici’s decision to partner with RSN Foundation is our donation model - Pair for Pair, think of it as Buy One, Give One.

Here's an example. A customer (you) buys a pair of sexy, comfortable, seamless underwear from Cici (us). And another pair immediately gets donated to a reputable organisation. Like RSN Foundation.

Imagine this, you’re about to buy a new pair of underwear from an online store. Would you rather buy them from a store that doesn't mention when you can expect your new underwear in the mail? Or from the store that openly shares important information?

Probably the latter right? Transparency is kind of a big deal.

Unless you like living your life on the edge and not knowing whether your parcel will even arrive. Red flag alert.

That's exactly why we chose the Pair for Pair donation model. Ellisa, Cici's founder decided to go with the most transparent donation model out there. Definitely green-flag material.

Why We Love Cici Underwear

Pair for Pair makes tracking the number of donations the easiest thing on earth. If you buy one pair of underwear, you know we'll donate a pair as well. If you buy five pairs, we donate five pairs too!

This makes our donations and the impact they have on the lives of women and girls measurable and trackable.

Receiving just one pair of clean, new underwear can have a profound impact on the life of a girl. That one pair of underwear might enable her to continue learning and attending school while on her period. It might help her get a better education and improve her life in some small or some big way.

We hope it's in a big way.

Want to stay up to date on our underwear mission? We’d love for you to come along with us. Follow us on insta or drop us your email to get all our updates first. Yep, even our sales updates!


 Written by Moira Deutinger