The Power of the Pen to Change the World

It’s a sunny day in Mikocheni, Tanzania. Sia Fred Towo clutches a bag of reusable sanitary pads in one hand, showcasing it to a group of women in a dusty yard with a look of seriousness and pride that rarely accompanies menstrual products. Towo is the director of Femme International, a nonprofit in East Africa, on a mission to break down global menstrual taboos. Towo is not only bringing period products to remote villages in Tanzania, she is bravely baring her own painful experiences in a borderless and ageless format: the op-ed.

Towo is one of six grassroots change leaders who are turning to the power of the pen to expose injustices and inspire change on a broad array of urgent issues—from climate change to education access. She joins courageous women from Afghanistan, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan and Peru who are writing op-eds about their personal experiences with these issues.