Denman W18 Masthead 2

All girls deserve dignity

Valeriya Lloyd

‘That time of the month’ can be so different for women, all depending on which country they live in.

In Australia, we’re very fortunate to surrounded by technology and products that make our life comfortable on so many levels. We all have reasonably affordable access to feminine hygiene supplies and therefore, even minor issues on special days don’t stop us from running our lives to our own schedules. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case in developing countries such as Kenya where women and young girls are forced to use unhealthy and unsafe materials for personal hygiene and miss school or work every single month because they are homebound.

Jessica and Ellen

Jessica and Ellen of Bandicute Designs

This issue is one that Tandum, an international non-profit organisation that champions women and young girls, holds close to their heart. Recently, Tandum collaborated with like-minded organisations Tandum Kenya and Canberra-based Bandicute Designs to launch a special campaign that aims to improve the lives of hundreds of women in developing countries.

“Kenya has approximately five million girls between the ages of 10 and 19, and approximately one out of every two school-age girls needs hygiene supplies,” explains Jessica Dyne, co-owner and Director of Bandicute Designs. “Tandum believes that all girls deserve dignity, as well as safe hygiene supplies and practices to not only keep them healthy but also safe.”

When girls and young women don’t have access to education, their future can be extremely limited. Ruth Rowlands, a founder of Tandum, has personally experienced the reality of life in Kenya, and now is determined to empower and educate young girls about feminine health and hygiene.


Collaborating with the Bandicute Designs, Girls Deserve Dignity offers limited edition and high-quality scarves, lovingly hand-dyed using the traditional Japanese technique of Shibori. Decorated in vibrant colours, these accessories can be part of an elegant outfit, but also a wonderful gift. All funds raised are utilised in the production of special sanitary kits that include items like fabric shields, liners, underwear, wash clothes, soap, instructions, and a beautiful drawstring bag that can also be used for school work. The kits are designed to last for at least three years and will provide dignity and freedom to girls around the world. It’s that simple.

“We have great hopes that we will be able to provide many kits to one of the schools Tandum is currently working with in regional Kenya,” says Jessica. “This school has over a hundred girls at the appropriate age for a sanitary kit, and we are putting in place long term measures to ensure this will be one of many efforts to provide girls with the support, resources and education they need.”


“There are loads of statistics out there that prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that investing in women’s lives impacts not only their children but also their communities,” adds Ruth. “Studies show that women reinvest up to 90 percent of their incomes back into their families, compared to just 30-40 percent by men. Mothers provide better nutrition and health care and spend more on their children. Investing in women and girls creates long-term social and economic benefits for all individuals, their communities, and the world as a whole.”

Girls Deserve Dignity scarves are available for sale from until mid-July 2017 online via Bandicute Designs’ website


Valeriya Lloyd

Val is studying Communications in Media and Public Affairs at University of Canberra and has a great passion for writing (in two languages as she originally came to Canberra from Russia). Val enjoys writing about life generally, and sometimes from a fictional perspective. She often generates new ideas in sudden moments and admits that she has at least two diaries, where she writes her notes and inspiration for future stories. She loves to meet new people and showcase their talents and originality. Val is very social person, who loves the local lifestyle and the inner beauty of Canberra. More about the Author

  • Bandicute Designs

    Thank you so much, Valeriya for this fabulous article! We have had such an overwhelming response to the campaign and have helped over 100 girls so far which is phenomenal! Currently we are sold out of scarves but if you follow us on Facebook we have exciting announcements and new projects coming soon! We are very excited! Head to

MEJ Leaderboard