Dignified Periods for Cuban Women Please

By Ammi

HAVANA TIMES – For as long as I can remember, Cuban women have struggled to get the right underwear, to be ready and comfortable every 28 or so days.

Awful-quality sanitary towels and tampons to contain the bleeding of most women, who also don’t know about the progressive menstrual cup.

We’ve been behind the times for years when it comes to women’s garments, from using a bra made out of any cut-off, to ripped panties without elastic, to living the nightmare of having to wear their children’s daipers during their period.

Not to mention the precarious situation many Cubans are in without water on demand and those who have the privilege, receive poor-quality water.

Very few women on the island can practice proper hygiene, shortages of personal hygiene items and the sky-high prices of those that do appear, make women’s lives a little less happy.

I have seen Havana clotheslines with brown-stained cloths hanging again, just like in the ‘90s, when anything was used to put in your intimate area.

Once again, we are suffering the beating of a hurt economy, where we have to turn to gutting disposable diapers and biting hard on pillows to bear pelvic pain, without a painkiller to mitigate the pains of this process. Wherever we look, there’s a bucket of murky water that needs to be boiled and saved to get us through the day. What could be a routine and resolvable thing for any other woman, has become an anxiety/stress/fear- riddled thing for Cuban women, who wonder whether we’ll ever have the right to a dignified period.

Read more from Ammi here.


I’m a mother of four children who through perseverance, studies and improvement managed to improve her environment and I have learned that every effort is rewarded and knowledge is shared. For me there is nothing more important than freedom and especially that which is capable of breaking personal limits. I am considered a cheerful, enthusiastic, curious person, willing to learn from each new experience.

2 thoughts on “Dignified Periods for Cuban Women Please

  • This is a totally avoidable shortage. Either through importation or by increasing local production, Cuba could easily meet the demand. This is a management/resource planning failure.

  • I’m sure some would say its the embargo that keeps this “World medical power” from providing sufficient quality feminine hygiene products. That’s total BS, it’s called priorities. As Ammi notes this has been a problem for many decades. My take is that the men in power could care less about this issue and the women who make it to positions of limited power in the Communist Party are getting their sanitary napkins or tampons or mentral cups with no problem, no stress. It’s outrageous that many months of the year women have to hunt down some poor quality napkins or invent. Shame on the leaders!

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