So here is the deal. Kids in Africa need an education if they are going have any hope of building their communities and nations. As you may know, I was involved with the WRI, that sponsored and ran education programs for women in Mali. Super. Awesome. Right? Well, here's the deal: what do you do if you are a young woman living in rural Africa, without access to Walgreens and you have a period??
The answer is, most young women stay home during the time of their menses. My chicas, you know about this better than I do, but that can result in missing up to a full week of school! Every month. That's missing 1/4 of all school days.
This is not good. How are these capable young women expected to keep up in school? Some families use this as an excuse to completely pull them out of school.
What is the solution? you ask. Well, clearly these girls need some feminine hygiene products.
Now before you starting mailing out Maxi pads en masse, remember we are talking about rural Africa. No septic waste system or landfill system.
So check out www.goods4girls.org. This site will give you instructions on how to help provide reusable (read washable) feminine hygiene pads to young women in rural Africa, so that they can go to school and be empowered by education.
This is not just important for the sake gender equality. Recent research has found that in African states where women are able to achieve leadership roles in business and politics, the state and local economies are stronger and more stable, there is less criminal activity, and there are more politically fair, just, and progressive laws on the books. Women in education and thus women in power are good for the future of Africa.
I have already contacted one of my activist friends about starting something in Provo, UT. I will be emailing the WRI and getting in touch with a few of my female Mormon friends (because they have access to their local Relief Societies). But I would urge those of you who are Mormon, to talk to your Relief Society president about this. I think this would be a far worthier activity for Enrichment Night than making another damn hot glue creation. Remember, the Relief Society was one of the first feminist organizations in the U.S. Keep that spirit a live.