Why Menstruation Matters
Millions of girls across the African continent miss school each month because they lack the resources and information needed to manage their periods, forcing girls and women to stay home from school, work or other opportunities.
On any given day, 800 million people are menstruating.
But menstrual pads and information on how to manage your period are still not considered ‘essential’ around the world. At Huru, we know menstruation matters to everyone… everywhere.
Menstruation matters to:
Periods are keeping girls from the classroom. Girls who lack proper products often just stay home from school, and if they do go, they worry about leakage and hesitate to fully participate. Not to mention their school may lack private toilets, clean water or disposal systems, making the routine process of changing a pad stressful. Quality menstrual products and comprehensive, evidence-based information on menstruation are essential to consistent, uninterrupted, stress-free learning environments.
Menstruation is an important, integral part of the overall health and well-being of half the world’s population. Critically, conversations about periods also act as the gateway to topics on sexual and reproductive health, HIV prevention, gender-based violence and more.
Disposable menstrual products are everywhere since the average woman will use over 10,000 disposable period products in her lifetime! That’s a lot of waste and these products can take 500 years to decompose. Not to mention in many parts of the world, finding a proper place to dispose of these products can be both challenging and dangerous for women and girls wandering at night. Huru’s reusable pads were made with these conditions in mind, and each lasts 18+ months. Better periods and a happier planet is a win-win. Don’t you agree?
Something we know for certain from working in menstrual health over the past decade is that periods are often shrouded in shame and stigma. This is not unique to one country, region or continent. Period shame is a global issue; when menstruation is believed to be dirty, impure or shameful, it can make periods an isolating time, and reinforce harmful myths and taboos about periods and the female body while undermining equity in personal and public spaces. Confidence and embarrassment can be deterrents from the classroom, office, or public spaces.
Ever wonder what “Huru” meant? Well it means freedom in Swahili, which is at the core of our work: giving girls back the freedom they need to reach their fullest potential. Girls who receive educations are less likely to face poverty as adults, contract HIV, and have unplanned pregnancies. If/when they choose to have a family, these girls also have better maternal health and are more likely to make healthy choices for their children.