Menstrual Hygiene Day
Posted by Francesca Rutherford on Sunday 28th May 2017
Sadly in Ethiopia menstruation remains taboo in many communities and can even be a source of shame and exclusion for women and girls across the country. Sanitary products are often very expensive and hard to find, resulting in many women and girls resorting to dirty rags, leaves or nothing at all to manage their period. There remains a lot of misconception and misinformation about menstruation in Ethiopia; girls are rarely
taught about what is happening to their bodies and how to manage these changes and men and boys are very rarely educated about periods and how they might help their daughters, siblings or friends during puberty. This widespread lack of understanding often results in many girls feeling too afraid or too confused to ask for help. The shame and embarrassment that many girls feel can prevent them from attending school, this results in some girls falling behind with their education. Studies have shown that girls who receive a good education are more likely to earn more, marry later, have fewer children and have children who are healthier and better educated. When women and girls prosperous, so too are the countries they live in.
We work with a number of partners who are working on making education accessible and equitable for girls. Our partners Dignity Period run an important programme in the Tigray region of Ethiopia providing safe and clean sanitary products to young women in the area. The products the project provides are reusable, giving the young women the freedom to manage their monthly cycles with confidence. Dignity Period also runs an education programme with the aim of challenging the stigma and misunderstanding surrounding menstruation.
Watch how Dignity Period’s work helps young women in Ethiopia
Read about how Ethiopiaid support women’s health projects in Ethiopia here.