an initiative of World Relief Australia

Keeping Girls in School

Keeping Girls in School
Keeping Girls in School

Menstrual management can be difficult at the best of times. Women with no disposable income may use multiple pairs of underwear, kitchen sponges or dirty rags in place of tampons and sanitary pads. Due to the unhygienic nature of these ‘pieces’, they regularly experience rashes, sores, bruising and infections. Beyond these physical abrasions, female livelihoods are commonly crippled by embarrassment and shame and further compounded by cultural sanctions and religious taboos deeming menstruating women to be ‘unclean’ and ‘unchaste’.

On a day-to-day basis, adolescent girls fear staining their school uniforms due to a lack of suitable sanitary products. Because of this, they miss out on weeks of class each year, causing them to fall behind and compromise their academic potential. This project aims to keep girls in school by bringing about attitudinal and behavioural changes at the community level. It will focus not only on the provision of affordable sanitary pads, but also endorse an open outlook on menstrual health issues to subdue anxiety and offer a core of support.

Key Areas of Expenditure:

  • Menstrual health and hygiene public awareness programs (for males and females)
  • School workshops
  • Micro-businesses dedicated to sewing cloth pads
  • Distribution of sanitary products
  • Gender specific bathroom upgrades
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