This article originally appeared on AFRIpads on March 8, 2016.
My name is Irene Nakayima. I am 28 years old and I work with AFRIpads as a production manager. I have worked here for seven years now. I am married to Joseph and I have two children: a boy named Ian (3 years old) and a girl named Faith (7 years old).
To me, women empowerment is the creation of an environment where women can participate in economic life and build stronger economies as they improve the quality of their life, as well as that of their families and communities. I also think of a free environment where women can make their own decisions for personal benefits.
AFRIpads has contributed to my personal empowerment in many different ways. Thanks to this incredible company, I realized how important it is to create a solution for menstruation. As you all know, menstruation is a very big problem that girls and women face here, and in many countries around us. I am very proud that I am one of the people who are making reusable pads, which are so helpful in the lives of these girls and women. Also, the protection we provide through the pads is empowering the girls and women who are using them.
Through my job here I earn a monthly salary, which enables me to look after my children, by paying school fees for instance. I am also helping my other family members with basic needs of their life. So job creation is another way in which AFRIpads has empowered my life over the last seven years and they are luckily still doing so. I am currently doing my Bachelors in Business Administration, because our company is supporting me to do this so I can develop myself even further.
I am so happy that AFRIpads is based in the community where I was born. My community has developed so much as 80% of our employees are from my community. Very many jobs have been created for other women in my community, all through AFRIpads. Because of our work here, we just had electricity extended to our community last year and that enabled very many ladies in the community to set up salons and shops where they can sell cold drinks for instance. So AFRIpads is not only empowering its own employees, but indirectly the other women in my community as well. And that makes me feel very proud!