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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 KOLA SULAIMON/AFP via Getty Image

#EndSARS: 1 Year Later And It's Business As Usual For The Nigerian Government

Thousands filled the streets of Nigeria to remember those slain in The #LekkiTollGateMassacre...while the government insists it didn't happen.

This week marks 1 year since Nigerians began protests against police brutality and demanded an end to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). The #EndSARS protests took the world by storm as we witnessed Nigerian forces abuse, harass and murder those fighting for a free nation. Reports of illegal detention, profiling, extortion, and extrajudicial killings followed the special task force's existence, forcing the government to demolish the unit on October 11th, 2020. However, protestors remained angered and desperate to be heard. It wasn't until October 20th, when soldiers opened fire on demonstrators at Lekki tollgate in the country's capital, Lagos, that the protests came to a fatal end. More than 56 deaths from across the country were reported, while hundreds more were traumatized as the Nigerian government continued to rule by force. The incident sparked global outrage as the Nigerian army refused to acknowledge or admit to firing shots at unarmed protesters in the dead of night.

It's a year later, and nothing has changed.

Young Nigerians claim to still face unnecessary and violent interactions with the police and none of the demands towards systemic changes have been met. Fisayo Soyombo the founder of the Foundation for Investigative Journalism, told Al Jazeera, "Yes, there has not been any reform. Police brutality exists till today," while maintaining that his organization has reported "scores" of cases of police brutality over this past year.

During October 2020's protests, Nigerian authorities turned a blind eye and insisted that the youth-led movement was anti-government and intended to overthrow the administration of current President Muhammadu Buhari. During a press conference on Wednesday, in an attempt to discredit the protests, Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed hailed the Nigerian army and police forces for the role they played in the #EndSARS protests, going as far as to say that the Lekki Toll Massacre was a "phantom massacre with no bodies." These brazen claims came while protesters continued to gather in several major cities across the country. The minister even went on to shame CNN, Nigerian favorite DJ Switch as well as Amnesty International, for reporting deaths at Lekki. Mohammed pushed even further by saying, "The six soldiers and 37 policemen who died during the EndSARS protests are human beings with families, even though the human rights organizations and CNN simply ignored their deaths, choosing instead to trumpet a phantom massacre."

With the reports of abuse still coming out of the West African nation, an end to the struggle is not in sight. During Wednesday's protest, a journalist for the Daily Post was detained by Nigerian forces while covering the demonstrations.

According to the BBC, additional police units have been set up in the place of SARS, though some resurfacing SARS officers and allies claim to still be around.

Young Nigerians relied heavily on social media during the protests and returned this year to voice their opinions around the first anniversary of an experience that few will be lucky enough to forget.



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