Elle International

Advancing menstrual and reproductive health by promoting access to safe, affordable, and sustainable solutions, while empowering women through education and socio-economic inclusion.

About

Elle International is a public benefit organisation founded out of the need to empower young women in South Africa with a primary focus on menstrual and reproductive health.

The challenge of menstrual and reproductive health in Africa transcends mere access to sanitary products and contraceptives; it’s a multifaceted issue intertwined with cultural stigma, limited resources, and educational gaps. Many women and girls face insurmountable obstacles in managing their health due to the unavailability of affordable, sustainable, and safe hygienic products, diagnostics, and treatments. This scarcity not only impacts their physical well-being but also deters their educational pursuits and economic participation.

Throughout the region, menstrual health remains a taboo subject, leading to widespread misinformation, shame, and exclusion. Coupled with limited access to proper facilities and resources, girls frequently miss school during their menstrual cycles, perpetuating educational disparities hindering their overall development.

Across Sub-Saharan Africa health burdens for women are systematically underestimated, with an absence of data that exclude or undervalue important conditions. Women face barriers to care, diagnosis, and suboptimal treatment. In addition, there has been lower investment in women’s health conditions relative to their prevalence, reinforcing a cycle of weaker scientific understanding about women’s bodies and limited data to de-risk new investment.

Elle International’s efforts are therefore substantially more than providing sustainable menstrual products; it’s about recognising the problem in the context of women’s health, fostering an environment where menstrual and reproductive health is normalised, integrated into societal discourse, and women are provided with the care they need. Through this holistic approach, we catalyse positive social change, uplift communities, and contribute to gender equality and women’s empowerment in Africa.

What we do