MENSTRUAL HYGIENE MANAGEMENT (MHM)
One third of school absenteeism in Western province, Zambia is due to lack of safe water and toilets at schools. Girls suffer discomfort and stigmatization during their menstruation at schools and often decide to avoid school during their menstruation periods, even though they often do not have proper facilities at home as well. Long school days increase the risk of menstrual leaks and girls experience frequent harassment by boys.
Half of the world's population menstruates. Breaking the silence on menstruation can change women and girls' lives. Integrating Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) in national policies across sectors will ensure that no one is left behind.
During our 2017 -2018 project implementation periods the Maboshe Memorial Centre (MMC) office was informed of girls and women in some of the organization operating zones using of cow dung instead of sanitary pads.
The Maboshe Memorial Centre (MMC) increases access to menstrual care and education by developing global partnerships, cultivating social enterprises, mobilizing volunteers and innovating sustainable solutions that shatter stigmas and limitations for women and girls.
Menstruation affects many women and girls, who struggle to afford or access safe sanitary protection. The economic, social and environmental impacts of period poverty are huge, with many of those affected missing out on education and job opportunities simply due to their periods.
Menstruation is a dream-killer for most girls, as they are unable to attend school during menstruation. On the other hand, those who cannot afford a good menstrual pad, rely on old rags as alternatives. There is no denying the detrimental health impacts faced by poor girls and women due to these unhygienic practices. Without access to sanitary pads to contain the flow, girls stay home, half of girls in rural areas report missing 4 to 5 days of school each month when they're on their periods. Girls living in rural areas of Zambia have little or no access to, or cannot afford modern commercially-produced disposable sanitary pads and are taught by older women what to use instead. Torn cloths, cow dung, dirty rags or mattress pieces, newspaper or even sand and leaves instead (rather like a sarong) is traditionally used but this is bulky and doesn't stay in place so girls will stay at home, particularly from school during their menses. Doing this puts them at a huge risk of infection. This means that they miss lessons for around 1 week in every four - that's 25% of lessons or, during their four years of secondary education, a whole year of schooling. Educating a girl means that they will a higher income, healthier baby, and be more involved in community activities and often, it helps break the cycle of extreme poverty.
Our movement aims to reach more than one million girls and counting! With your help, we can reach Every Girl. Everywhere. Menstruation around the world, girls and women resort to using rags, mattress stuffing, banana leaves, feathers, and even cow dung to manage their menstruation.
Maboshe Memorial Centre (MMC) provides a safe, beautiful, washable, and long-lasting alternative - along with vital health education. We actively support women and girls in Western, Zambia who struggle to access safe sanitary protection by offering not just disposables, but environmentally-friendly, washable re-usables and menstrual cups.
We ultimately want all who menstruate worldwide to have access to safe sanitary protection, as over 300 million women currently do not have this privilege. Girls miss up to 5 days of school a month and women are missing work; this leads to low attainment in school, missed work opportunities, lack of self esteem and exacerbation of the stigma & taboo that surrounds periods.
Maboshe Memorial Centre (MMC) is involved in a number of campaigns that aim to prevent or support in the relief of poverty in the Western province of Zambia. These include:
Working in partnership with various organizations to supply those in need with a choice of sustainable, reusable pads, menstrual cups or disposables.
Assisting in the provision of menstrual education, training and healthcare projects to reduce the impacts of period poverty.
Delivering quality menstrual education to tackle stigma and taboo around women's physical and mental health experiences affected by their period.
Conducting research on the economic, social and environmental impacts of period poverty and effectively communicating the results of this research to the public.
So far we've made some progress in supplying menstrual products to those in needs within Western province in Zambia but a huge amount of work remains to be done to achieve our goals. Many of the pads and tampons that we distribute to schools and women community groups are kindly donated by the public through our donation stations.
We are gradually tackling the stigma and taboo surrounding menstruation by working to educate and empower girls. We're always keen to get involved with campaigns to reduce period poverty, so would love to hear from you if you have any ideas to share with us please contact us if you would like us to add you or your organisation. Together, we're creating a world with dignity, health, and opportunity for all.
This why Maboshe Memorial Centre (MMC) under the Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) project is seeks to provide free sanitary pads to girls from marginalized locations and slums schools since these are the most affected areas, the campaign aim to reach to over 5000 underprivileged school going girls from primary and secondary schools aged 10-18 years with reusable sanitary pad because are super cheap, effective and sustainable on a long term basis and download the attached the Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) copies below.