1 out of 3 girls in India drop out of school*
Beginning a Period Should Not Be the End of an Education
A lot needs to be done for the girls in India and Africa. Inadequate sanitation, lack of guidance and insufficient access to health and hygiene amenities are among the many reasons that force girls across India and Africa to give up their education after they start their period.
Opportunity Education Foundation recognizes the vital importance of educating young women, to support the foundation's mission of providing a future out of poverty through education. Far too many impoverished girls face challenges to continuing their education as they approach puberty. They are needed more at home, they can be put out in the workforce or they can quit school simply due to the lack of options in addressing their menstrual cycle.
As mentioned above, starting a period should not be the end of an education. Young women will quit school rather than face the embarrassment of leaks, stains, and stigma due to the lack of hygienic menstrual pads.
We are proud to be affiliated with partners who understand these needs and have a solution to keeping girls in schools.
Empower Women in Africa seeks to educate young women on the importance of sanitary napkins and provide them with options to create a sustainable solution.
We applaud their ingenuity and enthusiasm for removing one more obstacle to obtaining female education and empowering women to overcome poverty.
*Table 15, Statistics of School Education 2007-2008, Ministry of Human Resource Development.
Making Sanitary Pads in Uganda
Posted by Lori on August 5th, 2012
In November 2011, Jill B. approached Empower Women in Africa at a fundraising event in Colorado where we had a sample of our cloth sanitary pads available so we could explain their importance in keeping girls in school. She immediately became a volunteer sewing pads and even getting Rocky Mountain Academy of Evergreen (RMAE) involved in the process by cutting patterns out. In July 2012, she visited Uganda and got to see the impact cloth menstrual pads can have on young girls attending primary school.
A student in Uganda shows off a brochure from Empower Women in Africa
Jill brought with her several brochures to share information about the pads we make and the scholarships we offer with the students and teachers at Kasubi Primary School in Kampala. She also brought pad patterns, thread and three yards of flannel, hoping that there might be a few girls who would recognize the need to make their own pads. She said, "They also are fortunate enough to have sewing machines."
In Jill's short time at Kasubi on her first day, she didn't have time to walk through the whole pad making process, but she was able to share the information with the head teacher and she left the supplies. She said, "I was so excited because when I went back there the next day after sharing the info with the headmaster, Sarah, the girls in P6 were already hand sewing them in one of their classrooms."
Students in Uganda hand sewing their own cloth menstrual pads.
She went on to say, "They were having an Art/Science fair that coming weekend and the headmaster was going to share the info and patterns with the other schools. I only wish I would have brought more patterns along to leave."
Jill's dedication has made a lasting impact not only on the girls at Kasubi Primary School, but also in Kenya and Namibia, where the pads she's made have also been donated. Thank you, Jill, for continuing to make a positive change for so many girls in rural Africa!