I donate to a charity called “The Girl Effect” www.girleffect.org
Today there was a post on Facebook talking about the need for older girls to have sanitary napkins to look after themselves when they menstruate. In Africa it is very uncommon to have disposable tampons or pads like we have here in Canada and most of the western world. Girls and Women just use rags or paper or whatever they can. There is a charity that is distributing washable pads and undies in a kit with information about using the pads and also sexual awareness and AIDS information to girls of the age to start menstruating.
I thought it was an excellent idea since many of the girls just skip school to avoid the embarrassment of having blood on their clothes and possible sexual harassment from boys and men who discover that they are becoming women.
The comments from some women were disturbing to say the least. There were a number of women who were convinced that washable sanitary napkins were dirty and that we should be sending them disposable napkins. Consider the transport costs of a truck full of pads vs the transport cost of a truck full of food. Sorry ladies, in these countries people choose food over feminine protection every time.
This also begs the question. What’s so gross about menstrual blood? Are we still suffering the sin of Eve? Can’t we just get over it and embrace our sexuality after so many thousands of years and billions of women on the planet? Can’t we just help each other and quit making judgement calls? This is the new millenium, we are still menstruating and we are still women.
Plus, let’s just look at the simple math here. For the cost of my fun money for a week I would be able to keep a girl in school for 5 more days a month, perhaps save her from the embarassment of her peers finding out that she is menstruating and even more sinister, some creepy adult male becoming interested in her now that she is “a woman”. Let’s just keep her happy and focused on her studies giving her the big boost that a literate girl has in the developing world. Makes perfect sense to me.
Have a look and see if you agree with me….