Getting girls in school, period.

By: Brittany Tatum; Originally posted on Global Citizen

The call to get more girls in school, and keep them there, has not been a quiet one. Everyone from First Lady Michelle Obama to twelve year-old Kenyan activist Eunice Akoth have been on the front end of the battle to get more girls in school. Even with the progress in recent years, girls still continue to suffer severe disadvantages and face many barriers in education systems, particularly in the developing world. Read More...

Celebrate Solutions: How Reusable Sanitary Pads are Empowering Women in Uganda

By: Brittany Tatum Women Deliver 

Imagine you are a young girl or woman, who has begun to menstruate and the only thing you had available to you in the realm of sanitary products were pieces of foam, toilet paper, or banana fibers. For some girls and women that’s a reality they face every month. They face embarrassment and vulnerability to infections, all because they can’t access or afford proper menstrual hygiene management (MHM).  This becomes an even larger problem when young girls miss school because of their periods. A study done in Uganda in 2013 showed that over 60 percent of girls skip school during their period. That’s where organizations like AFRIpads come into play. Read More...

Helping Women Through Clean Water and Sanitation

By Katja Iversen and Massimo Berruti; Originally posted by MSNBC

Katja Iversen is the CEO of Women Deliver

In the U.S., the average girl can pour herself a glass of clean water when she’s thirsty. She can walk to school on paved streets without sewage getting in her way. And, when she matures, she can easily purchase feminine hygiene products and use a private restroom at her convenience. Her period is a nuisance, but it does not disrupt her day – or her life.

This is not the reality for the world’s poorest girls and women. Basic necessities — safe water, sanitation and hygiene supplies — are scarce and often unavailable to girls and women living in poverty. These stark conditions jeopardize the health, education and well-being of girls and women in ways the average American cannot, and does not have to, imagine. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Tackling Menstruation Through Community Economic Empowerment

By: Rehema Namukose

Menstruation—the mere mention of that word to some people in my country, Uganda, will make them squirm and feel disgusted. Others consider it a private issue not worthy of discussion in public around men. These sentiments have contributed to the many factors that have hindered girls from freely attending school during such times of the month.

In some Nepalese and Bangladesh communities, people still practice backward taboos that depict menstruating girls as outcasts who are deemed unfit to live with others. They are not allowed to be in contact with anyone because they are viewed as cursed, and many such taboos are fueled by poverty. When a girl or woman cannot afford sanitary health care during this period, she will be viewed as dirty, shameful to the family, and to the community as a whole. This is why many girls' low rates of attendance of school have been linked to menstruation. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: WASH Helps Girls Learn in Zambia

By: Lindsay Menard-Freeman, Women Deliver

There is a clear link between a girl’s access to quality education and her ability to live a healthier, more productive life. We also know that one of the major reasons why girls drop out of school is that they lack of access to sanitary facilities and supplies. Without access to basic menstrual supplies and sanitation, girls’ health and educational opportunities are marginalized. The long-term consequences of this preventable reality for girls create a ripple effect among their communities and, collectively, the global economy. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Addressing Taboos to Improve Women’s Lives

By: Yousra Yusuf, Women Deliver

Imagine having to live in a cow-shed without any change of clothes for a week every month. Or, imagine being banished to a dark, secluded corner of your house because you are considered to be “cursed”. Seems unrealistic and utterly wrong, right? It did to me. But this is the reality of girls and women in many parts of the world where any mention of menstruation is still taboo. In India, Jayaashree Industries is working to combat that. Read more...


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