There are 9 000 000 girls in South Africa between the ages of 13 and 19.
This is the school going age of menstruating girls.
Their Education is hindered by 25%, as these girls do not go to school whilst they are menstruating as they have no access to sanitary wear.
That is one week every month, which is a massive set back in their school careers. If there is money in the family it first goes to food.
The sanitation in the schools is mostly dismal, if not of a very low standard, which makes it extremely difficult for girls to discard used sanitary pads.
The majority of the workers that migrate into the city to work as domestics or at markets or anywhere they choose, all have the same problem of the cost and disposal of sanitary pads.
The monthly cycle of a woman should be something to celebrate and not to dread.
This is a normal part of any woman’s life which should not impede her progress through life.
However, some methods of menstrual hygiene employed in developing countries include:
- Packets tied around the body filled with sand and leaves,
- Waste paper
- News paper
- Old cloths
- Previously soiled and dried sanitary pads – if they have any not always their own
It is extremely concerning that young ladies miss up to a week of school each month when they menstruate. This certainly hinders their education and sets them back, putting them at a clear disadvantage against their male counterparts.
Education is the future for our county. Women deserve better.