My Health, My Dignity
My Health, My Dignity Campaign is an initiative which seeks to advocate for the provision of free or subsidized sanitary pads for school going girls. The Campaign is informed by various researches conducted by different stakeholders who found out among other things that 72% of rural primary school girls do not use sanitary pads in Zimbabwe and also that 20% of them do not attend school during their menstrual periods. According to UNESCO, 1 in 10 girls in Africa will miss school during their period and eventually drop out of school.
Launched during 2016 edition of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence the campaign is an on-going initiative until the broad goals of the campaign are met.
Menstruation: The lived realities of young rural girls
As part of the campaign, two online discussions trending with the Hashtags #FreeSanitaryPads and #MyDignity were held. A documentary featuring the lived experiences of girls and women on the extent and effects of lack of access to sanitary wear was also produced.
Discussions with stakeholders, affected and interested parties are currently underway towards the consolidation of a clear position paper that describes our goals and expectations we have in addressing the menstrual health challenges facing school going girls. Targeted government departments that include the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education and the Parliamentary Portfolio Committees come into play.
Information access and dissemination on key issues affecting community’s particularly rural communities is never readily available and the campaign’s major thrust to amplify the massage and raise awareness to all the vulnerable and affected communities on the importance of providing free sanitary pads to school girls. Awareness raising is one of the determinant factors towards the success of the campaign and as such, the organisation will engage various opinion setters and a Campaign Ambassador comprised of celebrities, politicians, think-tanks and business people to hammer on the matter and educate the communities.
Gender equality and equity is achievable only if young men and women, girls and boys are given the opportunity to grow in a healthy environment so that they can be able to reach out to their maximum potential. The sanitary pads Campaign is one such campaign that seeks to address inequality between men and women from a primary and personal level and its only achievable through collaborative brilliance.