Research carried out in most African countries shows increased school dropouts among the girls in rural areas linked to reproductive health issues. In a typical poor Kenyan family, when there is little money to barely cater for food, fuel and other basic needs, sanitary products are not a priority. A recent research in Kenya indicated that more than 1,039,000 school girls were missing classes at least 4 days in a month. It is estimated that vulnerable girls skip classes for 39 days in a year during their menstrual cycle.
Needless to say that girls who come from poor families unfortunately lack this very basic need. Many others face feelings of shame about openly discussing their period. It is regarded by many as a taboo to discuss and many girls feel that it is too personal a matter to talk about. Sadly all the significant bodies that would otherwise be improving the feminine sanitary situation in the country tend to sweep it under the rug.
Growing up girls are faced with emotional insecurities and self-esteem issues. It goes without saying that the media does play a big role in this, as the portrayal of strong, confident women in our society could be better. Those who are publicized tend to give the society unrealistic standards of beauty, and girls who try to compare themselves with these images feel as though they fall short. While the number of immensely successful women in the world continues to rise, this is sadly not celebrated or highlighted to the extent where girls can relate. However, if girls are empowered, inspired and educated, they will come to realize that they can be whatever they want to be.
Indeed, it is important to empower young girls and give them the confidence they need to face challenges bravely and make a change in the society. There are the big challenges, such as lacking sanitary pads and other basic needs, and the smaller problems, such as shyness and shame over the matter. However all these do weaken the girl child and make her feel as though she cannot achieve greatness. Sometimes the only way one can succeed is by being reminded that they can.
To this end Always a well-known brand in feminine protection have come up with a campaign to ensure that girls do not miss out on school because of their periods. The campaign, dubbed “Stand Up” is a good course meant to empower young women and give them a fighting chance to become as successful as their male counterparts. Stand Up will start the healthy conversation and help keep more girls in school. The topic of hygienic sanitary protection may in this way be treated with its deserved importance.
Stand Up encourages girls to stand up for what they believe in, and go after their dreams despite whatever obstacles they have to endure. The initiative empowers girls in the region to have high esteem, believe in themselves and go on to be successful young women. In one of the recent Always advertisements, bubbly, happy girls in blue school uniform dance and sing, “ Stand Up, start your day, never give up, stand up, no doubt, and make a change, stand up, reach high!”