September is back-to-school month for students in Cameroon, and Menstrual Health and Hygiene (MHH) are essential for girls to be successful in school. When girls miss school because they lack access to menstrual products, their school attendance, test scores, and attention to academics suffer. UNESCO estimates that 1 in 10 girls in Sub-Saharan Africa will miss up to 5 days of school each month and eventually drop out because they lack access to products, facilities, and resources necessary to manage their periods. When girls miss school because of their periods, they have a hard time focusing and staying up to speed with their studies, and their confidence drops significantly.
Poor grades or dropping out of school entirely affects their future economic opportunities. It is shown that women that have higher levels of education have lower fertility rates, which means a better chance to ensure quality health for their children and break the cycle of poverty for future generations. When girls and women have access to adequate menstrual products and resources, there is a direct correlation with improved educational and economic outcomes that benefit them, their families, their communities, and cultures as a whole.
With the new school year, PridePads Africa will be resuming Menstrual Health Education to boys and girls in schools. It’s important to spread the knowledge of menstruation to both boys and girls in order to provide sound knowledge, break the stigma around and create positive social norms around menstruation. PridePads also teaches the importance of staying in school in order to walk the path toward their best and brightest futures. After all, menstruation is normal and healthy, and should never be a barrier to education.
The PridePads Africa Board of Directors and Committee Members