Monitoring Trip 2017- Dignity Period
Posted by Francesca Rutherford on Sunday 26th March 2017
Dignity Period works with young women in the Tigray region of Ethiopia providing them with reusable sanitary products. Menstruation, which is often a taboo and a source of shame across Ethiopia, often prevents girls from going to school out of fear of embarassment. With the help and support of Dignity Period, girls in Tigray can manage their periods with confidence, allowing them to focus on their education.
Rosina, aged 16. Mlat, aged 16. Mulu, aged 15 and Kasemneger, aged 16. In grades 9&10, at Adigudem Secondary School, Mekelle. All have now received leaflets and sanitary packs from Dignity Period. The girls take 4 modules each, for 6 months at a time and over a period of two years.
On arriving at Adigudem school we met with the new principal who helped to translate our questions to the girls.
Before Dignity’s partnership with the school, the girls said they had no awareness of menstruation and had received no education on it. Unfortunately, all 4 girls had started their periods before they knew what they were. This is sadly all too common, as the girls would learn from the booklets given to them by Dignity. These booklets contain personal stories of girls as they discuss their own experiences of menstruation and the need to change the view of periods as ‘taboo’.
Kasemneger told us that all four of them had stopped coming to school as a result of their periods; they felt dirty, ill-prepared and ashamed to attend classes - particularly with stained clothing a likely possibility.
Thanks to Dignity and Ethiopiaid’s support, the girls can manage their menstruation hygienically and confidently. They know when to expect their periods every month and mark it on a calender. Furthermore, they now feel able to share awareness of menstruation with their families and will go out and buy pads from the shops for female relatives.
We asked what they wanted to do once they have finished school - now Dignity has helped them to focus more on their education:
Mulu: A lawyer
Mlat: A doctor
Rosina: An engineer
Kasemneger: A doctor
These girls will let nothing get in their way.