Restoring the dignity of adolescent girls and young women in Makoni rural district
According to the Zimbabwe Formative Research on Menstrual Hygiene Management (2019) which was commissioned by UNICEF and the Government of Zimbabwe, 33.8% of school going adolescent girls in rural areas miss at least 2 days of school per month due to menstrual health related challenges. Makoni rural district is not spared from these challenges of menstrual health inadequacies affecting girls in schools and communities.
Adolescent girls and young women in rural communities are further exposed to extreme economic challenges which makes it difficult for them to afford quality sanitary wear. The economic challenges have been confirmed by a study by SNV Zimbabwe which reveals that 72% of menstruating schoolgirls in Zimbabwe do not use sanitary pads because they cannot afford them.
To respond to this unmet sexual and reproductive need and right, the Unlimited Hope Alliance Trust mobilised development players and well-wishers who donated 300 disposable and 400 washable sanitary pads. The beneficiaries included girls from 6 schools, 2 orphanage centres and a one stop centre which shelters survivors of gender based violence, all within the Makoni rural district. This action is a component of Unlimited Hope Alliance’s drive to restore the dignity of marginalised young women and contribute towards the progressive development frameworks for women and children such as SDG 3 on health, SDG4 on education and SDG 5 on gender equity.
Unlimited Hope Alliance Trust would like to acknowledge the great cooperation and collaboration from Makoni rural district council authorities, Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Enterprises Development, Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Ministry of Public Services, Labour and Social Welfare as well as the Ministry of Health and Child Care. Their support confirms the Unlimited Hope Alliance’s programming principle that addressing the SRH needs of girls and young women is a shared responsibility which requires adequate policy, programmatic and financial support from all of us.
We thank those who provided in different ways to make the day a success.