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Our UN CSW67 Panel on Period Poverty

Period poverty is a global issue that affects millions of women and girls, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. Lack of access to menstrual products, facilities, and education can have severe physical, emotional, and economic consequences for women and girls. To address this issue, Time to Help (UK) recently organised an event titled “Period Poverty and Its Impact on Women’s Education in Sub-Saharan Africa.”

The event featured a panel of experts from different fields, including education, public health, and development, who shared their insights and experiences on how period poverty affects women’s education in sub-Saharan Africa. The panellists discussed possible solutions and strategies to address this issue.

Dr Jennifer Martin, an award-winning researcher, technical specialist, and activist, spoke about the stigmas around period poverty and its impact on women’s health. Carrington Baker, the founder of For Women By Women, Period, shared her experience of fighting period poverty and changing the stigma around menstruation within different cultures and for the next generation. Ibrahim Yunus, a distinguished individual passionate about education and charitable work, spoke about how period poverty affects women’s education.

According to a UNESCO report, one in ten girls in sub-Saharan Africa misses school during their menstrual cycle, translating to about 20% of their school year. The lack of access to menstrual products and facilities and the stigma associated with menstruation can make girls feel embarrassed and ashamed, leading them to miss school or drop out altogether. This can have long-term consequences for their education, economic opportunities, and overall well-being.

Time to Help (UK) is a non-profit organisation that aims to improve the lives of disadvantaged communities in sub-Saharan Africa. Their programs focus on areas such as education, health, water and sanitation, and livelihoods. They are committed to promoting gender equality and empowering women and girls, and they believe that access to education and menstrual health and hygiene are fundamental to achieving these goals.

The event was informative and inspiring as it provided insights into the challenges faced by women and girls in sub-Saharan Africa and the possible solutions to address them. The panellists’ experiences and expertise showcased the importance of collaboration and innovative approaches to combat period poverty and promote gender equality.

Overall, the event was a reminder of the urgent need to address period poverty and its impact on women’s education in sub-Saharan Africa and beyond. It highlighted the importance of taking action to ensure that every woman and girl has access to menstrual products, facilities, and education, to promote their well-being and empower them to reach their full potential.

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