Girls and women of all ages still have limited say over their sexuality. Many girls miss up to four days per month due to menstrual issues especially the inability to afford sanitary pads and cultural myths surrounding menstruation. UNESCO estimates
1 in 10 girls African adolescent girls miss school during menses and eventually drops out due to menstrual related issues.
The main issues faced include:
– Absenteeism where girls stay home during menses
– Unhygienic ways to dry menstrual materials
– Limited access to counseling and guidance
– Inadequate waste disposal facilities
– Lack of privacy for changing menstrual material
– Leakage from poor quality protection material
– Lack of resources for washing like soap
– Fear caused by cultural myths
– Lack of education about facts of menstruation
– Embarrassment and low self esteem
– Unsupportive attitudes of some men
DESCRIPTION OF THE SOLUTION
Distribution of sanitary towels has proved to create a world where women and girls can confidently step into the promise of their future. The goal of this project is to empower vulnerable girls through provision of sanitary pads and capacity building on menstrual hygiene practices and reproductive health for improved performance and esteem.
By acquiring knowledge on menstrual hygiene management, the overall status of the girls will be enhanced as myths and misconceptions surrounding puberty and menstruation will be cleared up. The vision of the project is to ensure empowered girls are in charge of their lives
Up to 1000 girls from Kajiado schools will benefit from the project. The health status of girls will be improved through the project together with their personal hygiene.
This will be brought about by using proper sanitary towels compared to the old pieces of cloth or old newspapers that most girls use during menstruation.
School attendance for the girls will be improved by 3.5 days per month and help yielding better academic results. The girls self esteem and self confidence will also be boosted by a big percentage. The training on menstrual hygiene management and sexual and reproductive health rights will ensure all girls practice hygiene during menstruation and will also ease the traumatic experience that most girls have during their first menstruation.
School drop outs due to menstrual related issues will be greatly reduced. Vulnerability of girls that leads most of them to indulge in early sex in order to get money to buy sanitary pads will also drop drastically.
By reducing the days girls are absent in school due to menstruation, their involvement in co-curricular activities will improve thus a holistic development will be achieved.
This includes mental, physical and social development. This will ensure girls go through their education and venture in different fields which will be income generating thus helping them have dignified livelihoods.
Through the trainings, girls will learn how to hygienically and discreetly deal with the blood flow.
Environmental conservation will be addressed as the issue of disposing used sanitary towels will be a thing of the past.