Millions of girls in Sub-Saharan Africa are disempowered by the simple biological process of menstruation. Affordable and hygienic sanitary protection is not available to girls in many areas. They resort to the use of unhygienic rags and cloths which puts them at the risk of infections. Many poorer girls either skip school when they have their periods or simply drop out completely.
A girl absent from school due to menstruation for four days of every 28 day cycle loses 13 learning days, the equivalent to two weeks of learning, every school term. A survey of menstruating girls in Uganda found that “the biggest numbers of school dropouts are girls because of inconveniences during their menstrual periods.”
Educated girls are more likely to become empowered women; they are more likely to take control of their lives, have economic security, and raise fewer and healthier children who will in turn be more likely to be educated themselves.
A solution? Reusable sanitary pads. Reusable sanitary pads are a sustainable resource, allowing the girls to wash and reuse them rather than having to buy disposable pads every month. In addition, they are comparatively inexpensive and environmentally friendly. The social benefit of the implementation of this concept can greatly mitigate the disadvantages and challenges many disempowered girls endure during their process of maturing.