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Caster Semenya’s Venture For Girls’ Menstrual Health

Olympic champion Caster Semenya uses her superstar sports status to promote girls’ menstrual health.

In some townships and rural communities, girls can miss up to 7 days of school a month due to their periods. Caster Semenya has co-partnered with Shamila Ramjawan, founder of FamRam Solutions, to alleviate this problem with their product, the PrincessD menstrual cup. ‘When girls and women cannot afford sanitary products so they resort to unhealthy substitutes such as dirty rags, leaves, feathers, socks and also pages from their school text books,’ says Shamila, ‘the menstrual cup is the ideal solution to this problem.’

Our new packaging! How awesome is this? Double Olympic Champion 800m, double World Champion 800m and SA's greatest athlete at 26!! This girl has the MIDAS touch! Proudest moment ever – Congratulations business partner! Co-owner of Famram Solutions and Brand Ambassador PrincessD Menstrual Cup). First woman in the world to win back to back in the 800m!Gold at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics and at the 2009 and 2011 World Champs. SA's FIRST DOUBLE GOLD OLYMPIC CHAMP! Triple here you come goldengirl! Onwards and upwards cobra ❤We are so proud of you! @castersemenya800m #doublegoldolympicmedalist #londontorio #london2012 #rio2016 #double800mchamp #goldengirl #mybusinesspartner #cobra #brandambassador #princessdmenstrualcup #coownerprincessdmenstrualcup #coownerfamramsolutions

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Menstrual cups have been around since the 1930s, although they haven’t crossed over into mainstream use just yet. Made from medical grade silicone, they are cost-effective, eco-friendly, hygienic, don’t need that much water to clean, and they last up to ten years – far outweighing the benefits of sanitary pads and tampons, which Shamila says ‘are not sustainable. We need to give girls a gift of a lifetime, not something [that lasts] for 1-4 months.’

‘It really is a better option all-round for many women who would rather direct financial resources to other areas of their lives, and who want a product that will last a long time,’ Caster says.

A large component of Caster’s involvement in the business is to attract corporate sponsorship so that hundreds of cups can be donated to girls in rural areas. So far, the PrincessD business has been sponsored by (among many others) Anglo American, Nashua, Boston College and Kalapeng Pharmacies, the largest black-owned pharmacy group in South Africa. Shamila says that this kind of corporate sponsorship can ‘decisively impact the quality of lives in rural communities.’ But it is not only girls and women from rural areas that stand to benefit from the cup: ‘After launching the [PrincessD cup], I found that it’s an essential product for girls and women everywhere,’ she says. For those who wish to buy it, the cup can be bought from the PrincessD website for R320.

Our #wcw goes out to the Miss South Africa Top12! Co-owners Caster Semenya and Shamila Ramjawan congratulates the Top 12 Finalists in the Miss South Africa Pageant and has kindly sponsored the PrincessD Menstrual Cup. We encourage and promote a 'green' environment. Wishing you the best of luck on your road to success. The PrincessD Menstrual Cup is eco-friendly, cost-effective and hygienic. It lasts for up to 12 hours at a time and is re-usable for over 5 years up to 10 years. The combo pack comes complete with a menstrual cup and a pretty pink foldable sterilizer cup! No more sanitary products!!! Be the princess that you are #periodcup #menstruationcup #menstrualcups #menstruation #periods #costeffective #sustainable #leakfree #convenient #ecofriendly #healthy #women #girls #regram #femininehygiene #swim #swimming #feminity #infectionfree #goinggreen #saveourplanet #nolandfill #odourfree #affordable #princess #princessgoals #menstruationmatters

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Shamila hands over PrincessD menstrual cups to girls at Caster’s former school, Nthema Secondary School in Polokwane, Dec 2016

 

 

 

 

 

Caster hopes to use her celebrity status to remove the stigma attached to menstruating. ‘Thanks to my achievements on the track over the last few years, for which I am very grateful, it has raised my profile both in South Africa and abroad. As a recognisable woman from a humble background, I hope that other women can relate to me and will be able to use this product to help them face their own challenges with comfort and confidence,’ she says.

While Caster does what she can as the endorser of PrincessD, she admits that the answer to the root of the problem lies in education. “By teaching young girls to understand and respect their bodies, and by giving them the tools to look after themselves without feelings of inadequacy or embarrassment, government can make a real difference,’ she says.

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