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MENSTRUATION SHOULDN’T STOP EDUCATION

jambo bukoba menstruation should not stop education

Photo by Cesar J Pollo from Shutterstock

It’s hard to imagine that the most natural thing in the world for a woman, her period, could be such a disadvantage; that it could come between her and her education, affecting her future prospects and her chance of leading an independent life.

No sanitary protection or toilet facilities

However, for many girls in Tanzania and other parts of Africa, this is their reality. Going to school during your period with no sanitary protection, no or inadequate toilet facilities, a taboo surrounding the topic of menstruation and teasing, puts girls off attending classes. They feel vulnerable and uncomfortable and opt to stay at home.

Inadequate homemade sanitary protection

What’s more, sanitary protection is expensive, prohibitively so in Tanzania. Many girls use a homemade solution to replace sanitary towels and tampons. These homemade measures like old rags are unhygienic and insufficient to prevent soiling. This poor menstrual hygiene management can also be detrimental to girls’ reproductive health.

girls in front of a toilet

Inadequate toilet facilities puts girls off school during menstruation

Menstruation is taboo

Most girls only find out about menstruation when they get their period for the first time. Parents and teachers generally avoid discussing menstruation and a veil of embarrassment hangs over the topic. The lack of information about periods and misinformation lead to fear and shame. Young girls are too frightened to ask for help and suffer in silence.

Periods hindering gender equality

As a result of these challenges, some studies show that between 40% and 50% of girls in Tanzania are missing school during this time. On average, 1 in every 5 valuable school days is lost.

What does that mean for gender equality? As a girl, right now, with no support during menstruation, having a monthly period actually negatively affects her chance of a better future. There’s no equality here!

children playing

Because of period challenges, gender equality is even more difficult

Overcoming menstrual challenges in Tanzania

Jambo Bukoba’s work is focused on helping young people in Tanzania to stay in education so that they can have a stronger future. That work takes us in many different directions as we solve problems so that education for boys and girls is unimpeded.

To help girls in Tanzania overcome school downtime during menstruation, we do a number of things:

jambo bukoba global goals

Jambo Bukoba is contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals

Menstrual Hygiene Day

Menstrual Hygiene Day was introduced in 2013. This annual awareness day aims to draw attention to the importance of menstrual hygiene, to change negative social attitudes and end period poverty by 2030.

In recognition of Menstrual Hygiene Day this year, we have put together an infographic showing just some of the obstacles faced by girls in Tanzania and how we are helping to overcome them – with your support.

By taking these basic steps, we have assisted 5,721 girls (2020 figures), ensuring that they can confidently remain at school, attend their classes and becoming empowered for the future.

jambo bukoba menstruation should not stop education infographic

„Menstruation shouldn’t stop Education“ Infographic by Muriel Burke english-content.com

The SDGs and Jambo Bukoba

Thanks to these initiatives, Jambo Bukoba is alleviating period challenges and contributing to several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the same time:

  • SDG 4 for quality education
  • SDG 5 for gender equality
  • SDG 3 for good health and well-being
  • SDG 6 for clean water and sanitation

If you would like to get involved with our educational work in Tanzania, support it or even visit our projects, then please contact us to find out how you can help.

Sources

http://www.tawasanet.or.tz/files/Fact%20Sheet%20MHM%20Tanzania.pdf
https://snv.org/cms/sites/default/files/explore/download/girls_in_control_baseline_report_-_tanzania.pdf
https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2018/12/12/keeping-tanzanias-girls-in-school-investing-in-menstrual-hygiene
https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article/figure?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0239914.g002

Article by Muriel Burke[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container][fusion_global id=“24042″]