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Kenyan Women are Rallying Online to Demand Better Quality Sanitary Products

Several Kenyan women believe they are sold "substandard" products compared to women in America and Europe, and are sharing their stories using the hashtag #MyAlwaysExperience.

Since yesterday, Kenyan women have taken to Twitter to express outrage at what they believe is the prejudicial selling of substandard sanitary products in their country.

Several women have taken to social media to express discontent with sanitary products sold by the international brand Always—a company under Proctor and Gamble (P&G)—with some claiming that they have suffered from chaffing, rashes and infections after using their products. Some women shared side-by-side images and videos, comparing pads sold in Kenya with those sold in the U.S. and Europe.


Women began sharing their sanitary pad horror stories yesterday on Twitter, using the hashtag #MyAlwaysExperience and it quickly began trending. Women from other African countries, like neighboring Tanzania and Ethiopia also shared similar complaints about the products. "We have similar experiences in Tanzania," wrote Twitter user LisAshuraBaraba "My friends from a young age would complain of the chaffing, allergies, infections, sales on expired products and differences with other markets. When new competitors came along they shifted quickly. We don't even have a local office."

One woman, by the name of Scheaffer Okore, shared a list of ways that the company can improve their products to better serve the needs of women in Kenya, including making "pads for humid weather" and stop "scenting pads."

Following the uproar, Always Kenya released a statement on Twitter, denying that it sells a lower quality product to Kenyan buyers. "The Always Ultra pads we have in Kenya are similar to the Always pads in other parts of the world, including Germany, UK, US, South Africa." Adding that all of their products are manufactures in Europe and the US.

However, the company's response did not do much in the way of appeasing Kenyan customers, who remain unwavering in their demand for better quality products.

Many called on the brand to reexamine their standards, while others are urging the government to support local businesses within the country instead of allowing international brands to control the market.


The online movement has received the attention of P&G and warranted an investigation into their products by the Kenyan Bureau of Standards. These actions have led several participants and observers to call #MyAlwaysExperience an example of when "hashtag activism" and social media uproar can prove effective.





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Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images.

Angélique Kidjo on Africa Day: 'We demand not to be at the mercy of our circumstances anymore.'

We speak to the inimitable Angélique Kidjo who shares some of her refreshing thoughts on Africa Day.

Today is Africa Day and while primarily a commemoration of the formation of the African Union (AU) back in 1963, it has also become an opportunity to unapologetically celebrate Africa while providing a moment for reflection on how far we've come as a continent and as a people.

With this year's theme focused on "Silencing the Guns in the context of the COVID19", there has never been a more important time for deep reflection on our collective present and future as Africans.

And who better to share in that reflection than the legendary and inimitable Beninese musician Angélique Kidjo? A fierce African and artist who has paved the way for many of her contemporaries including Burna Boy, Davido, Thandiswa Mazwai, and several others, the four-time Grammy award winner emphasises the urgent need for unity among Africans. 'It's about time that people start realising that Africa is a continent. I've been saying this my entire career,' she says passionately.

OkayAfrica spoke briefly to Kidjo who shared some of her refreshing thoughts on this year's Africa Day.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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