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Ending Period Poverty in Rural Eswatini

Did you know that 10% of girls in Sub-saharan Africa miss out on school due to period poverty? Menstrual stigma, poor hygiene facilities, and financial constraints have led to what we’ve come to know as period poverty and girls and women living in Eswatini are not exempted from this. Due to period poverty, many of them are left isolated and unable to participate in their daily activities such as attending school.

Several factors contribute to period poverty in rural communities. One is the high cost of menstrual products. In Eswatini, a pack of sanitary pads can cost up to 20% of the average monthly income. This is simply unaffordable for those living in poverty.

Another factor is the lack of adequate hygiene facilities whereby in many rural schools and homes, there are no toilets, clean water supply, or washing facilities. This can make it difficult for girls to manage their period and it can also lead to them missing school.

As a response to this, we distribute Days for Girls packs in our community as part of our outreach. Days for Girls is an organization promoting menstrual equity, health & dignity through the provision of reusable, washable sanitary towel kits. This intervention is helping many girls and women who can't afford disposable products and also creates economic opportunities for the women who make the kits. You can learn more about Day for Girls here.

Ending period poverty is an important goal for many. It is a basic human right for girls to be able to manage their periods hygienically, and girls need to be able to attend school without the fear of stigma and shame. By taking steps to make menstrual products and hygiene facilities more accessible in rural communities such as ours, as well as educating about menstruation, we can help to end period poverty in rural Eswatini. If you would like to sponsor one girl's kit for only E100 ($5) you can write to us or visit our donate page.

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