The Problem: Period Poverty in Uganda
Period poverty affects women, girls and people who menstruate all over the world. Access to menstrual products, safe, hygienic spaces in which to use them, and the right to manage menstruation without shame or stigma, is essential for anyone who menstruates.
But for many, this is not a reality. This is not just a potential health risk - it can also mean girls' education, well-being, and sometimes entire lives are affected.
Currently in Uganda, girls are missing between 8 and 24 days of school each year, equating to around 14% of the school year, with a further 2.5% of girls having to drop out of school completely.
Girls are faced with persistent stigma and taboos about menstruation so often are made to feel uncomfortable and unwelcome in a school when on their periods. To add to this, disposable sanitary products are extremely expensive so many girls use old cloths, napkins and leaves to protect themselves during their period. These solutions are unreliable and can lead to girls leaking blood onto their uniform and being bullied by the boys.
Some girls might not have access to underwear either, which is why Y.O.U Underwear operates on a Buy-One-Give-Two basis. We're working towards a future where no girl has to miss school because it's their period, or they don't have underwear.
There are often not the facilities for girls to dispose of the items hygienically at school, or for girls to wash and change. This further entrenches negative stigmas and creates health risks in the school environment.
Without the opportunity to attend school, many girls face early marriage and pregnancy. They are only qualified to do menial jobs and this exacerbates the inequalities faced by women.
How You Can Help Us Combat Period Poverty in Uganda
Just a Drop is an international water charity that brings sustainable safe water, sanitation and hygiene projects to communities across Asia, Africa and Latin America. So far, our work providing safe water, hygiene solutions and sanitation has reached 1.8 million people worldwide.
We are delighted to be partnering with YOU Underwear to make a real impact to the lives of girls in Uganda that are affected by period poverty and we want Y.O.U to be involved!
With every eco-friendly menstrual cup you buy from YOU Underwear, £1 will be donated to Just a Drop’s menstrual hygiene programme in Uganda.
The programme will support over 100 girls from across three schools in the Wakiso District of Uganda by teaching children at the school to produce, market and manage the production of reusable sustainable menstrual pads and soap.
This method provides girls at the schools with reusable, sustainable menstrual pads to manage their periods hygienically and with dignity. It also means that the children can learn important entrepreneurial skills that they can take forward with them to future employers.
Within the schools, the girls elect ambassadors who are responsible for supporting the other girls in the school with menstruation and advice, and we teachers are given resources and advice to help with this.
The programme will have a lasting impact on the girls - as well as keeping girls in school and reducing dropout rates, the programme aims to empower girls to understand their rights and body, increase their self-esteem and confidence to manage their periods safely and with dignity.
Support girls in Uganda today and buy your eco-friendly menstrual cup from YOU Underwear and donate £1 to Just a Drop!