International Menstrual Hygiene Day is celebrated each year on 28 May. To mark the occasion, we asked our brilliant friend, Rose Woods from Supreme Sanitary Pads in Malawi, to give you a brief insight into how they are working with Link to help girls get a quality education.
Across the world menstrual health is being increasingly recognised as an essential right that crosses over multiple Sustainable Development Goals and speaks to gender equality. Despite this, menstruation is still a major barrier for girls accessing education. For too many girls, a lack of access to sanitary products and ongoing stigma surrounding menstruation means they miss days of school each month whilst on their period – some girls miss anywhere from 10-20% of school days and many drop out of school completely.
Our social enterprise, Supreme, is partnering with Link in the TEAM Girl Malawi project to support 6000 girls with ‘School Girl Packs’ containing reusable pads, underwear and soap, as well as through informative menstrual health sessions.
At the same time, parents and guardians of learners in the program are training on how to make reusable sanitary pads as part of a skills training component. This twin track approach is looking to address current challenges girls face every month in accessing sanitary products, while also tackling larger systematic challenges by building local capacity to provide these essential items where they are needed the most.
This Menstrual Hygiene Day, we want to add our voice to a national movement calling to end period poverty and work towards a world where no girl has to miss school because of her period.
-Rose Woods, Supreme Sanitary Pads