Menstrual Hygiene: A barrier to education of rural and underprivileged girls
I have spent a couple of months this year volunteering in an educational campaign aimed at promoting girls education in Zambia and I must say I have learned a lot. One of the important things that my experience has brought to light is the fact that education, especially for girls is so much more than just being able to afford school fees, uniforms and school supplies. While our campaign was mainly focused on these areas, I realized that the issue of menstrual health has an impact on how well as girl performs in school because for many girls who cannot afford proper sanitation during their period, the only option is to stay at home. The lack of access to menstrual hygiene products, lack of clean toilets as well as the cultural taboo that shrouds menstruation is really holding back a lot of girls from excelling in school. Imagine having to take a week off school each month and how that would affect performance. I decided to look further into this issue and started to research sustainable solutions to the problem and so far I have come up with two solutions that I think would be very helpful 1. Initiate fundraising ventures that will fund the purchase of re-usable sanitary pads (I have come across some NGOs in Africa and the USA that are producing them 2. Create an easy to understand curriculum on menstrual health that can be adopted by schools in rural areas to help break the taboo Does anyone have any experience working with this issue? What are some successful strategies that can be implemented?