To advocate for sustainability and women empowerment, Greenergy DLS-CSB, together with Sinaya Cup, spearheaded the webinar, “Wealth: Women's Health & Sustainability” last May 21 via Zoom.
Founder and Managing Director of Sinaya Cup Audrey Tangonan educated participants on the impact of using menstrual cups as an alternative to disposable feminine hygiene products such as sanitary napkins in environmental sustainability through reducing plastic waste. Furthermore, she also shared other advantages of using a menstrual cup, including making women feel more confident about their own bodies.
With her advocacy to educate women on health management, she also held sessions through coordinating with different schools, known as “The CUPacity Caravan,'' by teaching them the use of menstrual cups and on women’s reproductive health.
Despite the conservative nature of the Philippines with regards to reproductive health, Ms. Tangonan expressed that, “We should have ownership with our bodies. Do what is best for you [when it comes to making choices.]”
Stories about shifting to menstrual cups
Former Greenergy DLS-CSB President Alyssa Belda shared how she became more open to using menstrual cups during her monthly periods after doing her research.
“I considered [buying a menstrual cup] a [worthy] investment. [Using a] menstrual cup doesn't affect your virginity and your activities. It doesn't make you any less of a woman. Menstrual cups definitely changed my experience and my perspective about menstruation, it made me more comfortable with my appearance,” she added.
Meanwhile, Greenergy DLS-CSB member Pia Lumban shared via video testimony her experience of using menstrual cups for almost a year due to her skin condition. This made her more comfortable and educated with how her body works.
“Take time to research [and] always remember [to] take into consideration your needs,” Lumban, an architecture student, said.
Initiating the project on women’s reproductive health
Greenergy co-project manager Anneka De Leon shared in an interview with The Benildean that there were challenges before being able to push through with the project.
“From the beginning, reproductive health was already a topic that Greenergy had to carefully consider, seeing as we are part of a Catholic school. There was a point where the project almost didn't [happen], so I actually had to explain why I believe that this was something that had to happen,” she shared.
The organization also wanted to “shed light” on women’s reproductive health by being able to tackle topics like sex education. These issues must be openly discussed without having to feel uncomfortable for others to be educated and to learn in living a zero waste lifestyle.
Lastly, De Leon thanked the participants who joined the webinar. “Even if you feel that a menstrual cup is not for you or if you’re a man and don’t get periods, it’s still admirable to expose yourself to these talks, allowing yourself to be more educated and more open-minded on how the female body works and how we can still take care of it with minimal harm to the planet.”
“Keep an open mind. Don’t settle on an answer just because it was your first impression or because you heard someone else’s opinion. There’s a reason why many women (and men) advocate for menstrual cups. So enlighten yourself, do your research and talk to people that you know have experienced using it,” she advised.
The event was done with Benilde Nature Development and Outdoor Club (BUNDOC) and Benilde Red Cross Youth Council (BRCYC).
Sinaya Cup is a local business that advocates on women empowerment and zero waste menstruation through the use of reusable menstrual cups.