Apr 2017

Dignity Period: Helping Girls Manage Their Period So They Can Stay in School

Posted by naomi on Monday 10th April 2017

Dignity Period works with young women in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia by providing them with reusable sanitary products. Menstruation, which is commonly taboo and a source of shame across Ethiopia, often prevents girls from going to school out of fear of embarrassment. Over time as girls miss more and more school they are forced to discontinue their studies.  With the help and support of Dignity Period, girls in Tigray can manage their periods with confidence, allowing them to focus on persuing their education.

Rosina (16), Mlat (16), Mulu (15) and Kasemneger (16) are all in years 9 and 10 at Adigudem Secondary School, Mekelle, Tigray. All have received sanitary packs from Dignity Period which contain a year’s supply of menstrual hygiene supplies, including four environmentally friendly and reusable sanitary pads, two pairs of underwear, and a comprehensive educational booklet regarding puberty and menstruation, which will also be distributed to over 1,700 boys who attend schools in this area.

Through an interpreter the girls explain that before Dignity Period’s partnership with their school, the girls and their classmates had no awareness of menstruation and had received no education about what they were experiencing or how to manage it.  Unfortunately, all four girls had started their periods before they knew what they were.  As the girls will learn from the information booklets included in the kits, this is frustratingly common. These booklets contain personal accounts from other girls in the region who have endured similar experiences, and in turn had their lives changed by the combined work of Dignity Period and Ethiopiaid.

Kasemneger told us that all four of them had stopped coming to school as a result of their periods; they felt dirty, ill-prepared and ashamed to attend classes - particularly with the fear of stained clothing.  

Thanks to Dignity Period and Ethiopiaid’s support, the girls can manage their monthly cycle hygienically and confidently.  They know when to expect their periods every month and mark it on a calendar.  Furthermore, they now feel able to share awareness of menstruation with their families and families and 

The girls were asked what they wanted to do once they have finished school - now Dignity Period has enabled them to focus more on their education. The girls told us, with confidence:

Rosina: An engineer
Mlat: A doctor
Mulu: A lawyer
Kasemneger: A doctor

These girls will let nothing stand in their way; and to help them on their path you can DONATE HERE.

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