As part of the WaSH project in that it involves health, a couple of my colleagues attended a meeting regarding Women’s Hygiene. I was briefed about this meeting and learned that the women and girls in some of the areas were not working or attending school during their menstrual cycle. They were not equipped with the necessary pads and embarrassed when they experienced excessive bleeding. They use old rags that are non-sanitary and experience problems with disposal.
Partnering with local organizations to try and provide alternative means is a consideration. A couple of alternatives are the mooncup, (look it up!) and washable cotton towels. Currently there are local women who can produce these reusable sanitary pads. The reusable sanitary pad is three times better than the disposable. Made from a flannel material, it has a high absorbency capacity, 12 hours, with no compromise in health when washed, dried, and stored properly, and can be utilized for up to a year, if properly managed.
Of course, as with any new project, there are assessments conducted to determine the related instructional guidance, privacy issues, and potential target groups, to name a few. Additionally, finding a donor to fund any project proposal probably poses one of the largest challenges.
Here are a few of the targeted groups considered for this initiative:
- 4th grade – 8th grade girls
- Girls in out-of-school clubs
- University students/urban living
- Parents – mothers
- Religious leaders
- Traditional birth attendants and health-extension workers
- Influential women in communities and faith groups
- Teachers, especially female
It gets interesting, doesn’t it?