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Fearless Female

SheHUB Nigeria: Shamsiya, the Nigerian woman padding young girls with love



Women have historically and contemporarily contributed to the development of the society. However, these contributions are sometimes overlooked, so this Women’s Month, SheHUB’s Nigeria chapter has focused on interviewing young women who contribute to providing a just and fairer society. Our chat with Herbode’s CEO, who provides a haven for survivors of domestic abuse and sponsors girls’ education, can be found here.

This International Women’s Day Month, we also liaised with Shamsiya Yusuf, a feminist and lover of Korean movies and BTS. Contrary to the stereotype that Nigerian women who love the Asian entertainment industry lack depth or that feminists barely do things for women other than critiques, Shamsiya is the founder of one of the leading organisations that selflessly care for young women and girls.

Shamsiya, 23, founded the organisation Pad Her with Love to contribute to ending period poverty in Africa’s largest country. Period poverty, according to the National Institutes of Health, is the lack of access to safe and hygienic menstrual products during monthly periods and inaccessibility to essential sanitation services or facilities and menstrual hygiene education.

In Nigeria, over 37 million women and girls are unable to access or afford menstrual products like pads and tampons. They are also unable to access pain medication and underwear to ensure comfort during their menstrual cycle.

So, while there are some organisations occasionally giving out menstrual pads to women and even training them how to make one, they are nearly not enough. This is why it is a privilege for SheHUB’s freelance journalist Simbiat Bakare to chat with the founder of an organisation exclusively dedicated to ending period poverty and contributing towards relief for girls.

Shamisya’s chat with SheHUB.Tv

  • Pad Her With Love is one of the most reputable institutions for women and girls in Nigeria. What is the motivation to establish it?

Pad Her with Love was established out of the need to end period poverty. As a feminist, I always worried about how I could impact the girl child in my way, and I decided one of the ways would be to provide sanitary towels for vulnerable girls.

  • What is your perspective on the reality of period poverty in Nigeria, and how can more people help mitigate it?

As of 2024, statistics show that over 37 million girls and women cannot afford essential menstrual hygiene products. We can mitigate this by raising awareness and donating to organisations advocating for ending period poverty, such as Pad Her, and advocating for policies to subsidise period products.

  •  Pad her shared 1000 reusable sanitary pads with girls in 5 locations, including Abuja, Benin and Kaduna. What’s the strategy behind this initiative?

We did this to further our mission of addressing menstrual health. If girls were healthy enough, there would be a ripple positive effect on their education, self-esteem and future economic sustainability. Our mission is also why we engaged in community engagement in the areas you mentioned.

  • Do you intend to collaborate with other organisations for the celebration of International Women’s Day? What plan do you have?

For Women’s Month, we are working with other women-centred organisations like Sierens and Herbode. We also plan to continue our activism beyond this month as we have a campaign walk scheduled for August 26, 2024.

  • How can people volunteer to be involved in your organisation, and what urgent aid do you require?

People who intend to volunteer or donate to further our mission can reach us via social media. Our Twitter handle is @Pad_Her_. We are always responsive on any of our platforms.


Simbiat Bakare is a freelance journalist and women’s rights advocate from Lagos, Nigeria.