On Wednesday, September 2nd, the ladies of the Sewing Our Futures Project were busy producing 1,000 reusable sanitary pads for the Girl Up club girls. From the batch, each girl will be given a pack of 10 reusable sanitary pads during her graduation ceremony from the one-year Adolescent Girls Training Program. Thanks to the dedication of GUIU's Head Seamstress Innocent Komugisha, we managed to complete this project. We hope to make this a permanent element of the Sewing Project to provide our girls with sanitary wear and overall menstrual hygiene management on a regular basis.
Unfortunantely, menstruation and the urgent need for sanitary pads is a subject that is often 'swept under the rug', only recently starting to gain traction given the data on the impact it is having on the education of girls. According to UNESCO, 1 in 10 girls misses school during their period, because they do not have access to sanitary pads, and are ashamed to go to school and be ridiculed, often by their male peers. Part of Girl Up Initiative Uganda's mission is to ensure girls stay and excel in school, so that they can realize their dreams and provide a better future for themselves, and their families. Tackling this issue eliminates one more barrier to education access for our girls.
Can you think of any other creative ways to provide the girls of GUIU with sanitary wear? In what ways do you think the government can support girls in school to ensure they do not miss any school days or drop out entirely? What kinds of have social support and infrastructure are required to make sure menstruation does not disrupt a girl's education? Comment below and let us know!
FACT: Did you know there is a Menstrual Hygiene Day, celebrated and observed on the 28th of May every year to address the challenges girls and women face around menstrual hygiene management?