When I told my boyfriend that today is UN sanctioned International Day of the Girl Child, he asked if that wasn’t a bit exclusive. I promptly flooded his inbox with infographics on the effect of girls’ education, which is largely accepted as the most efficient means to fighting poverty globally. Literally. Check out the infographic.
What’s even more surprising is that a major obstacle to girls’ education in the developing world is menstruation, which causes many girls to miss a quarter of their schooling. It never occurred to me that a woman’s period would prevent her from doing… anything. Except maybe wearing white, or swimming in shark-infested waters. I assumed everyone had some means of handling their flow and going on with their day-to-day lives. Not the case.
Which is why I fell in love with programs like Pads for Peace and Pads4Girls. In the case of Pads for Peace, an Eliminate Poverty Now project, not only are girls receiving washable menstrual pads – enabling them to stay on top of their school work and continue their education – the ‘RockPads’ are manufactured at a local sewing center at Little Rock ECD Centre in Nairobi, Kenya, creating jobs for women in the community.
Issues like global poverty are so mammoth it’s sometimes overwhelming for a single person wanting to help. The fact that these programs isolate an obstacle and offer an uncomplicated, effective solution is wonderfully refreshing. And the end result – girls receiving an education – is the best part.