Globally, providing women and girls with access to quality menstrual health and hygiene also means changing the terms on which we, as public servants, community and other stakeholder engage with this issue. Sustainable Development Goal 4: Quality education states that ‘Education enables upward socioeconomic mobility and is a key to escaping poverty. Over the past decade, major progress was made towards increasing access to education and school enrollment rates at all levels, particularly for girls’. Girls of every school-age group are more likely to be excluded from education than boys across sub-Saharan Africa. For every 100 boys of primary school age out of school there are 123 girls denied the right to education( UNESCO ,institute for statistics ,2018)
Women’s health has historically been hijacked by debate at the political level. This naturally hinders the process of creating policies that work for women. Think of the sheer number of politicians who for centuries have elected to tell women what they should do with an unintended pregnancy. Think too of the ever-growing number of women around the world who insist that this is a personal, private and medical discussion to be had
solely between the individual and their physician. Menstruation is no different. Debate on these issues has arguably done women and girls more harm than good. Enough is enough.
Menstruation is a normal and natural part of the reproductive system, experienced by over half of the world’s population. It accompanies people from the beginning of puberty until they hit menopause. Menstruation is itself a significant predictor and indicator of health and well-being. Policies within education, health, water and sanitation must do better to acknowledge the fundamental role menstruation plays in women’s lives.
WOSWA’s attempt to roll back substantial gain to girls’ education, we give great attention to girls who are marginalized from remote and rural communities because they are in that quintile that is delicate and needs special concern since they are more vulnerable and unlikely to fulfill their right to education, health and protection, among other rights.
Women students Welfare Association (WOSWA) took the initiative to reach out to the girls through social enterprise approach. Led by WOSWA P Leaders and other WOSWA team leaders and partners mobilized various stakeholders from the government, churches, NGOs, County government, local and international organizations, school and community leaders and mobilized group of 850 secondary and primary school girls and stakeholders meeting at Bukhuyi primary school in Busia county – Kenya .The girls were girls attended from different schools.
- Coordinating Team members
- Ms. Mary Ojwang- Team leader WOSWA-Logistics
- Dr Anne Aseey- WOSWA,Patron
- Mercy Onyando- Woswa member and Miss WOSWA Kenya
- Joy Sharmah- WOSWA leader Moi University Chapter and Resident Busia County
- Project Aim and objectives.
- Support the students and the community in terms of mentorship,
- Student career guidance
- Linking community to schools and other stakeholders
- Enhancing Partnerships and collaborations
- Social, emotion and Psychosocial support
- Distribute sanitary towels to needy students
- Engage with students at personal level to understand their challenges and good moments.
- Counseling services
- Girls Back to School narrative
The World Health Organization (WHO) on March 11, 2020, declared the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak a global pandemic. This was due to increase in death cases realized. For instance, 443, 685 deaths were realized (as of June 17, 2020) globally but the numbers keep rising. This has led to various implications in social, economic and political wellbeing which has brought far reaching consequences to various households and livelihoods at different levels. It has also led to the closure of learning institutions with millions of school going children not able to attend school. In Kenya, all education institutions were closed in March 2020 following a Presidential directive as a result of COVID 19 being declared pandemic by World Health organization(WHO) .,
the Ministry of Education has put in place strategies to ensure continuity of education through distance online learning delivered through radio, television and the Internet. However, these strategies have further widened the inequality gap, as learners from poor, vulnerable, and marginalized households are unable to benefit from continued learning through these platforms due to lack of access.
Further, with the loss of livelihoods particularly in low-income households, some children may be forced into income-generating activities to support their families’ survival. Also, school closure has stopped the provision of school meals and sanitary towels, which children from disadvantaged families rely on significantly. This raises the risks of young girls engaging in transactional sex in order to gain not only access to these essential needs but also to support their families. There is evidence that links poverty, lack of family support, and transactional sex.