Changing the Cycle: The Health Crisis of Period Poverty

Like many other students in Kenya, Jane’s life has been affected by the cycle of poverty. Although she is old enough to attend secondary school, the difficulties of purchasing basic needs have taken away many educational opportunities.

Whenever she had her menstrual cycle, she would miss school. Unable to afford sanitary pads, Jane either shared with others, or used a piece of cloth. Eventually, she learned it was unsanitary to share products with others and was then faced with the tough choice: risk her health or risk her education.

Many girls do not go to school at all. Period poverty, which is the inadequate access to menstrual hygiene tools and education1, is an issue affecting women around the globe.   Due to the lack of funds for proper sanitary products, many women are unable to work or attend school.  

Justine, a Cultivate trainee, started distributing sanitary pads through his organization, Africa Alliance for Health Research and Economic Development (AAHRED). This has given many women the opportunity to continue in their education. Lydia, a volunteer with AAHRED, also educates the women on how to sew their own pads, all the while providing mentorship to these young women. Now, these young women are able to continue in their education, empowered with greater knowledge, with the help of AAHRED and their volunteers.

1As defined by the American Medical Women’s Association.  To read more about this issue, check out this article: https://www.amwa-doc.org/period-poverty/

Find more information below on how women around the world have been affected during this pandemic:

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