Menstruation is a natural process experienced by women globally. Menstruation should not be a secret, scary or prohibiting process. Women and girls in Kenya should be free to realise their full potential without being held back by their (totally natural) periods.
We have launched ‘Period Pride’ as we know that knowledge is power. By joining our campaign you will be helping to provide essential educational training to girls, boys, women and men in Kenya. You will be a part of the change. You will be breaking the taboo.
Do you remember your first period? Were you scared? Were you prepared?
Menstruation is the single biggest barrier to education for girls in Kenya.
Menstruation is a taboo subject in Kenya. It is not spoken about and the vast majority of girls believe they are sick when their periods start because discussing menstruation is a taboo; mothers will not discuss or explain it with their daughters. When menstruation is talked about, the conversation is shaped by shame and stigma. Eighty percent of girls are totally unaware their periods can be predicted and almost all are unaware of the biological functions of periods, and most importantly that menstruation is natural and normal.
Dig Deep is working to keep girls in school so that they can realise their full potential. We are doing this through rolling out essential menstrual hygiene training to schools and communities in Kenya.
Menstruation is surrounded by myths and taboos; so much so that the fear of leaking and being publically shamed is one of the main reasons girls will skip school whilst menstruating. When a girl starts her period unexpectedly she is often forced to improvise with whatever material is available to her from dirty cloth to leaves, mud or even cow dung in an attempt to avoid leaks.
Sanitary towels are available but the supply is unreliable and the stigma and cost attached to these essential items often makes them unattainable for young girls. The use of inappropriate sanitary materials will cause frequent infections and extreme discomfort.
Dig Deep provides safe and private female latrines which include shower rooms and clean running water. We educate girls about their bodies and break down the crippling misunderstandings and taboos that often scar the psyche and confidence of young women at a critical time in their lives. In so doing, and by reinforcing that periods can usually be predicted our aim is to keep girls learning so that they can earn more in the future to lift their families out of poverty.
Our programme is designed so that some of our sessions involve boys and men too. The importance of boys understanding that periods are natural and that they must support and care for their sisters and future daughters is critical to the success of the training. Menstruation is not something that should be seen as a women’s problem, by normalising the conversation around menstruation and giving girls confidence in themselves we are laying the path for them to succeed.
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