Rural adolescent girls from high schools in Ondo State were taken through a do it yourself system on reusable menstrual pad production to improve their menstrual hygiene and reduce absenteeism in school. The about 400 rural girls were trained under the project Gender RIDE of LEAD Transformation Initiative.
In Africa, Rural community is synonymous to poverty. The state of poverty attainable in rural spaces have made young girls disadvantaged in accessing basic hygiene kits, their involuntary monthly menses have made them worst hit by the absence of basic sanitary products. This however reflect in their approaches towards life which made them feel inferior to their male counterpart.
Teaching the adolescent girls on the significance of menstruation
According to 2016 World Bank report on Education for Global Development, a school girl misses twenty percent of her school days in a year during her menstrual period in Sub-Saharan Africa. Majority of the girls in question most times cannot afford conventional sanitary pads, they are therefore forced to be absent from school against their will. This however further widened the gap between male and female genders in obtaining quality education. Meanwhile, some girls were brought up to believe that menses is a taboo thereby on low self-esteem during their menses.
To however attain a gender balanced community, we must help the female gender grow and attain the stature that will make them not to be pitied in the face of opportunities but physically and psychologically fit to favorably compete with their male counterparts. If this must be achieved, removing any sort of barrier that might hinder them from accessing quality education must be pursued with all diligence.
Girls from community grammar school a rural high school in Ilara-mokin undergoing training on reusable sanitary pad production
Project Gender RIDE, one of our projects that seeks to promote quality education for young people took a Do It Yourself approach on reusable sanitary pad production to encourage adolescent girls to remain in school even during their menstruation. Our team of trainers stormed the rural schools to educate the young girls on menstrual hygiene and the significant of menstruation for female before we proceeded on hands-on training on reusable sanitary pad production. The materials needed to get this pad are easily accessible for the girls at home which will reduce the huge cost spent every month in buying one time use sanitary pads. The pad produced can be washed and reuse with a life span of more than six months, this invariably means with just two pads, an adolescent girl can rock the whole year without getting stained.
Miss Precious a beneficiary of the reusable sanitary pad training from Just Once Model College
While commenting on the training, one of the beneficiaries of this development Adelanke Precious commended the organization for bringing this training to her school and the easy to learn approach of the facilitators which has made her to be able to produce the reusable pad at home alone without the help of any specialist.
Team of facilitators with the students
The school authorities of Just Once Model College Akure and Community Grammar School Ilara-Mokin in separate notes appreciate the organizer and the entire team for helping their female students acquire an essential skill like this which will go a long in reducing the living cost of their parents especially in the current economic meltdown.