MY PERIOD IS AWESOME (MPIA)
Menstrual Equity projects in South Africa, Namibia, Uganda and Sweden.
Better representation with menstrual equity strategies.
Unlike other normal bodily functions, menstruation is often linked to religious and cultural meaning that can affect the perception of the person menstruating.
There is evidence of how lack of adequate menstrual hygiene management (MHM) and support in sexual and reproductive health and rights (SMHR) education, forces some to stay home from school and work, while others are being detained by their families or subject to humiliating treatment.
When they cannot go to school, get work or take part in daily life on equal terms, it means reduced representation in society.
Equal education is a fundamental human right and essential for the exercise of all other human rights. It promotes individual freedom and empowerment and yields important development benefits.
Giving them the right conditions to manage their menstruation is giving them possibilities to get education and better chances for success in life.
Understanding good menstrual health in the context of human rights requires a holistic approach. Related rights are:
The right to water and sanitation
The right to health
The right to education
The right to non-discrimination and gender equality
The right to work
Partnering organizations in South Africa are Project Dignity and Sonke Gender Justice. These two make up our expert team on MHM (menstrual hygiene management) and SRHR (sexual and reproductive health and rights).
The aim of Project Dignity is to reduce absenteeism and dropout rates in schools and increase opportunities for girls to complete their education with dignity. Project Dignity are also the create of Subz washable pads. So far Project Dignity have handed out 120.000 kits of washable pads and have put the equal amount of girls through their educational program.
Sonke’s vision is a world in which men, women and children can enjoy equitable, healthy and happy relationships that contribute to the development of just and democratic societies. Sonke Gender Justice works across Africa to strengthen government, civil society and citizen capacity to promote gender equality, prevent domestic and sexual violence, and reduce the spread and impact of HIV and AIDS.
My Period is Awesome - Uganda is a project managed by Wise Economy and the main local partner is Wellbeing Foundation. There are two aims in this project.
The first part of the project uses artistic expression as a conversation starter to tackle destructive norms related to lack of Menstrual Hygiene Management and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights education. The project involves professional artists, creative leaders and journalists as the agents of change on a society level. Together they campaign for Menstrual Equity. This part of the project is co-funded by the Swedish institute.
The second target group in this project are right holders in the slum areas of Kisenyi and kamwokya in Kampala, Uganda. The project focuses on capacity building for Wellbeing Foundation so they can better tackle the situation where human rights are violated. The project include the activities:
GOVERNANCE; administration, project management, financial and human rights procedures.
ADVOCACY work for awareness on MHM and SRHR.
METHODOLOGY for MHM/SRHR talks.
A MENSTRUATION STATION, where the MHM/SRHR talks will be held in the two targets slum areas. A place where girls can find privacy during their menstruation.
Wise Economy is proud to partner with Women’s Action for Development (WAD) in My Period is Awesome - Namibia.
The main goal in this project is to get SRHR and MHM training in to the school curriculum. The project works closely with the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Art and Culture.
The project focuses capacity building of WAD, training of life skill teachers and distribution of menstrual cups. Target groups are 600 girls and 100 boys in 5 schools in poor rural regions. The project will provide 1,000 girls with sanitary cups sponsored by the Danish company OrganiCup.
The project is co-funded by Forum Syd and Hjärtner & Partner.