Women's Empowerment - Supplying Reusable Sanitary Pads



Young women need to change their sanitary pads three or four times daily during the first 3 days of menstruation. The vast majority of women and girls in the Kasese District use rags, usually torn from old clothes, t-shirts, leaves, dry cow dung mud and in emergency situations, animal skin, toilet paper, bark cloth instead of sanitary pads. Rags are washed and reused several times. There is no private place to change and clean the rags and often no safe water and soap to wash them properly. A culture of shame and embarrassment forces them to seek for well hidden places even in their homes to dry the rags. This exposes them to illnesses and infections. Rags that are unclean and causes urinary and vaginal infections. Very often serious infections are left untreated.

The muteness about the issue of menstruation coupled with the disadvantaged socio-economic positions of girls and women in Africa in general and Uganda in particular perpetuates further inaccessibility to the much-needed sanitary pads. The advent of commercial sanitary towels has not generally saved the situation considering that the associated price of the towels is not affordable. Educate A Child International (EACI) has surveyed and found that the prices of a pack of sanitary towels for different companies varies. The inaccessibility of menstrual products results in embarrassment, anxiety and shame when girls and women stain their clothes, which is stigmatising. Once girls start missing school they are far more likely to be exposed to other risks such as early pregnancy, marriage, HIV and AIDS. Increasing girl’s completion of education cycles is a critical component of efforts to build their wider empowerment and in particular for ensuring that they are more able to be involved in decision making over all aspects of their lives, including over their reproductive and sexual health rights.

Realizing that the problems of MHM are countering the efforts of government and other stakeholders to promote universal education for girls, EACI is proposing to intervene by initiating a reusable sanitary pad project. The proposed project aims to increase accessibility to sanitary towels for girls in schools in Kasese Municipality. The provision of free sanitary towels to girls in this poverty stricken area marred with conflicts will enhance the enrolment and retention of girls in school thus having a long-term impact on an individual girl and her community development.


  
We are indebted to AfrIpads Uganda Limited for donating to us reusable menstrual kits that we were able to supply to girls in the Kasese Municipality. In this program, 288 girls received pads and knickers that they will use for one year while six senior women teachers also received one kit each.

Schools that received are: Kamaiba Primary School, Kasese Primary School, Nyamwamba Primary School, Uganda Martyrs Nyakasanga Primary School, Kyanzuki Primary School, and Katiri Primary Schools. We are also thankful to Kasese Municipal Council for getting involved in the selection of beneficiaries, witnessing the distribution and for giving us cars that we used in the program.

Call On Donors:
Our intention is to start producing reusable pads locally in Kasese so that we save the many girls and women in Kasese District. We therefore request you to support this project.


Educate A Child International (EACI) plans to start producing reusable sanitary pads to supply to 2000 girls in upper primary in schools in Kasese District. Our area has undergone decades of political and tribal conflicts resulting in poverty. The project will see Edu-Pads supplied to girls from poor families freely and this will save them from using rags, mud, leaves and papers which exposes them to vaginal infections and dropping from school when they have menses. For more information please Click Here



Educate A Child International (EACI) K-Micro Loans goal is to promote increased access to sustainable loans and other financial services to women and girls in the Kasese District by 2018.For more information please Click Here