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#NoMoreLimits: delivering sustainable menstrual hygiene solutions for women and girls

World Vision
28 May 2018 by Gabrielle Bourke
#NoMoreLimits: delivering sustainable menstrual hygiene solutions for women and girls

School girls in Uganda are empowered to manage their periods with the help of World Vision and Days for Girls.

 

Today we’re celebrating Menstrual Hygiene Day – a day dedicated to raising awareness around the vital role that menstrual hygiene management (MHM) plays in empowering women and adolescent girls around the world. The vision behind MH Day is a world in which every woman and girl is able to manage her menstruation in safety, privacy, and with dignity.

This year’s theme is #NoMoreLimits, and we’re excited to be part of the conversation around empowering women and girls through delivering sustainable MHM solutions. All of World Vision’s school WASH programmes now require that school sanitation facilities are MHM friendly, which includes gender-specific bathrooms and access to water and soap for girl students and female teachers.

Over the coming years, World Vision intends to build on learnings from existing MHM research and programming to develop a multi-sectoral approach to MHM. We’re working to align the sectors of education, livelihoods, health and WASH to advocate and intervene for healthy MHM for women and girls beyond the school environment, to include all settings where girls live, work, learn, play, and seek services. We’re committed to #NoMoreLimits and working alongside communities to empower women and girls through positive and sustainable MHM programming.

Days for Girls’ bright and colourful kits help girls to manage their periods with confidence and dignity.  

 

Breaking barriers to girls’ education in Uganda

In developing countries like Uganda, lack of access to menstrual hygiene products is a key factor in restricting girls’ freedom and opportunity. Social and cultural norms often mark menstruation as ‘taboo’, meaning that girls are unable to freely discuss or seek support in understanding their periods. A lack of menstrual hygiene products sees many girls forced to stay at home during menstruation. Unable to attend school, these girls miss out on important learning opportunities afforded to their classmates.

Enter World Vision Australia and Days for Girls – a collaborative partnership that supports the health, education and dignity of girls in vulnerable communities around the world. Since 2015, our partnership has delivered 800 Feminine Hygiene Kits to girls in Uganda and Somalia. Each kit lasts up to three years and contains essential items to uphold girls’ health and dignity during menstruation.

Our partnership with Days for Girls provides vital resources to empower girls in their daily lives. Girls like Adikini, who knows all too well the challenges of managing her period without support. We first meet Adikini at local high school in the Tororo District of Eastern Uganda. Together with 500 female students, Adikini has recently received a Feminine Hygiene Kit from Days for Girls.

Students at Tororo High School celebrate the delivery of Days for Girls kits.

 

Prior to receiving her Days for Girls kit, Adikini would often miss school as her family were unable to afford sanitary pads. Adikini says, “My parents were doing their best to buy pads, but often we didn’t have the money. When I didn’t have pads, I would ask the senior female teacher at school. Sometimes she didn’t have any…which meant that a lot of the girls stopped going [to] school”. Adikini’s experience echoes the reality for many of her school friends – girls for whom lack of access to menstrual hygiene products is a key barrier to their education.

With the support of World Vision Australia and Days for Girls, Adikini can now attend school whilst on her period, free from fear and embarrassment. Proudly holding her kit, a smiling Adikini says, “With these kits, I’m sure girls will no longer miss class. I am so happy that my friends and I received these kits.”

Adikini proudly holds her Days for Girls kit.  

 

In Uganda, Days for Girls kits have been successfully integrated into World Vision programs that target barriers to girls’ education. The provision of Days for Girls kits has been complemented by school-based initiatives that strengthen the safety, privacy and gender-sensitivity of WASH facilities, address negative attitudes to menstruation and train ‘School Hygiene Clubs’ on Menstrual Hygiene Management.

On behalf of young girls like Adikini, we would like to thank Days for Girls. Your incredible passion and commitment has helped to secure greater freedom and opportunity for girls around the world. Together, we are empowering young women to go forward with confidence and reach their full potential!

 

Want to get involved?

Days for Girls kits are sewn by volunteers in Australia and around the world. If you’d like to get involved, join an existing group or launch your own to sew Days for Girls Kits and create awareness. You can even be a ‘Solo Sewist’, using your talents to sew Days for Girls kits or kit components in your home! For more information, visit the Days for Girls website here: https://www.daysforgirls.org/chaptersandteams

Gabrielle Bourke Gabrielle Bourke

Gabrielle supports the acquisition and integration of high-impact, field-driven resources at World Vision Australia.

 

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