About 90% of girls in rural areas cannot afford sanitary pads. Evidence shows that many girls drop out of school or are absent for significant periods of time when their menstruation begins. This means that over 1000 girls miss six weeks of school every year and women miss valuable work hours. Meanwhile, UNESCO estimates that one in 10 African adolescent girls miss school during menses and eventually drop out because of menstruation related issues.
This week, we are connecting with our Women’s Sewing Project so they can make a year supply of reusable sanitary pads for over 150 girls. The Cooperative is willing to sell us these pads at a 45% discount, thereby supporting the success of multiple villages.
When girls start missing school due to menstruation, they are far more likely to be exposed to other risks, such as early pregnancy, marriage and HIV/AIDS. They are also less likely to be manipulated by men who promise to provide them with money to buy pads. These girls will be able to attend school more often and complete their educational cycle.