Every second person in the world will get their period at some point in life, yet women and girls are still affected by stigmas and taboos associated with the menstrual periods that are a completely natural process. This happens due to many different reasons, but one that is frequent in many countries is that menstruation can be seen as impure, and therefore some women are not allowed to cook during their period or visit temples. Luckily attitudes towards issues women face during their period are changing, and the effects reaches much farther than you may think!
Because girls can miss out of 1/4 of their school education after they get their period, it is important to make sure they have access to sanitary pads. If they do, all girls regardless of their family’s economy, can still go to school during their period – and this is vital! To ensure female participation in school is actually one of the most important steps to work towards a sustainable future; the chance to reach all of the Sustainable Development Goals increase with female participation. UN Women also point to poor sanitation as one of the reasons that keep girls from getting quality education, check out their infographic below to learn more about why it matters to focus on female empowerment in terms of education:
We want to place awareness on this topic, as its important to break down stigmas and ensure that girls continue in schools also after they get their periods. Education is the key to ensure gender equality and women empowerment, and therefore we arranged a two-day menstrual health and pad making training for 33 students and teachers from the whole district!
For us it was inspiring to see how the students and the teachers opened up and shared their views on the topic in the training, and we were glad to see that this became and arena where they could talk about common experiences related to menstruation. On the second day of the training the participants had already started their pad making at 6.30 in the morning, and their enthusiasm was transferable! The pads they made are eco-friendly as they are reusable, and the brilliant trainer Kalpana encouraged using reused and cleaned fabrics and materials; such as elastics from worn-out clothes or the extra buttons in shirts.
After the training the participants will share what they learned in their own shools and communities, and two participants have already shared their new knowledge with others!