What Counts for Girls
23 October 2017 by Neemah Ahamed
11 October was marked as the International Day of the Girl in recognition of the needs and challenges girls face. The purpose of the day was to promote girls empowerment and the fulfilment of their human rights.
Most of us never think about what we can’t see. We take things for granted. We don’t talk about issues that are gender sensitive & culturally taboo. If they don’t affect us, they don’t matter. According to UNICEF, underprivileged adolescent school girls living in the rural and poor urban parts of Kenya lack access to basic hygiene products such as undergarments and sanitary towels during their menstrual cycle. The effect of this is:
– They miss up to 40 days of school a year- that’s almost 4 days every month
– Their health suffers because they get infections
– They are forced to use rags, torn blankets, leaves or old socks
– Their dignity and self-esteem is affected
– Their chances of success at school are diminished
– They grow up without being aware or understanding the respect they deserve
– Their self-worth and self-perception is compromised
– They are exposed to situations where could be victimised or embarrassed
In an attempt to play a small part in helping to alleviate the plight of these girls we partnered with Hope in Action Network Kenya to provide feminine hygiene products, undergarments and basic training on menstruation management to 280 adolescent girls from four schools in Makadara constituency, Nairobi. In addition to supporting this initiative, we are sponsoring the education of girl in class 6 in Northern Kenya.
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