MENSTRUAL HYGIENE MATTERS;
Effective menstrual hygiene is vital to the health, well-being, dignity, empowerment, mobility and productivity of women and girls. Poor menstrual hygiene may cause stigma and ill health, and can lead to school absenteeism and increased school drop-out rates. Menstruation is a taboo subject across the world, which can lead to misinformation and the promotion of dangerous menstrual hygiene practices. Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) is practiced differently in accordance with cultural, social, educational and economic status of the community.
Young girls in developing countries often receive minimal instruction on menstrual hygiene management because menstruation is seen as taboo by many communities, which makes it extremely difficult for adolescent girls to acquire necessary information and support from parents and school teachers. A woman from Tanzania about her first period she remembered, “I used cotton wool, pages from an exercise book, leaves from trees. I suffered much embarrassment at school because I leaked and stained my uniform.” Similar issues affect girls in India, Cambodia and Iran
The United Nations Children’s Fund says one in 10 African girls skip school during menstruation. Some drop out entirely because they lack access to sanitary products. 83% of girls in Burkina Faso and 77% in Niger have no place to change their sanitary menstrual materials at school. In East Africa over 300 girls, 20 per cent are said to miss out their classes 4 to 5 days a month and some opt to dropout because they have no means of coping during menstruation, something which every woman has to go through.
BACKGROUND OF THE PROJECT “SANITARY SUPPLIES FOR DIGNITY PERIOD”
“Sanitary Supplies for Dignity Period” is an undertaking towards the fight to end taboos around menstrual hygiene and sanitation as a way to promote and uphold women and girl’s dignity. Healthy menstrual hygiene means healthy women free from reproductive complications.
As any other important human aspects, Menstrual hygiene matters. Every woman or girl all over the world has a right for accessible and hygienic sanitary products despite their economic status (privileged and underprivileged), race, or religion.
The project is directed to the underprivileged primary & secondary (elementary and high) school girls in the Rural part of Tanzania who are facing difficulties with their menstruation due to ongoing taboos, stigma and poverty that lead to school absenteeism and dropout. Majority of these girls lack sanitary supplies (pads) due to ongoing poverty and illiteracy. These situations force them to use leaves, rags, and papers which endanger their reproductive health and damage their education performance.
GOALS AND OBJECTIVES.
- Bring awareness to the society on the importance of sanitary supplies towards girl’s education.
- Eliminate the root problem (silence) to give girls power to speak out about challenges they face with their menstrual health.
- Supply sanitary facilities to underprivileged school girls in rural parts of the developing countries in Africa.
- Uphold 28th May every year as The World’s Menstrual Hygiene day.
- Uphold women’s and girl’s dignity as a way to promote human rights.
- Provide Little Entrepreneurship Skills to school girls as a self-sustaining guide.
- Break taboos and stigma towards menstruation to sustain safe period to every girl.