Period stigma is keeping girls out of school. Donate today.
Girls are missing school, being bullied, and dealing with distress. All because nobody will talk about periods. It’s time to stop girls missing school. Period.
Will you support girls to manage their periods without shame?
Where Abigail lives, there’s a phrase that translates to ‘going behind the house’. The phrase comes with a set of rules and superstitions. And whether you’re a student or royalty, they are the same. No touching certain objects. No entering the family home. And most importantly, no talking about the reason: menstruation.
Something that happens to more than 800 million people on the planet.
For Abigail, a former sponsored child, the silence surrounding menstruation meant that when she got her first period, she was ashamed and confused.
She was at school the first time she saw the blood, and thought it was abnormal to be bleeding that badly when she hadn’t been cut by any sharp objects. She still remembers the pain as the worst thing she had ever felt.
And she didn’t know what was wrong because talking about periods was totally taboo.
Will you help end period stigma today?
Period stigma causes girls like Abigail to feel shame and confusion. This shame also feeds into a culture of bullying and abuse. Many girls begin to miss classes to avoid toilets or taunts, and some drop out of school altogether. This can lead to early marriage and pregnancy, and further perpetuate inequalities later in their lives. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Will you donate today?
Photographer: Plan International
Abigail speaks to adolescent boys about how they can support girls during their periods.
Your gift could help provide the education, supplies and support girls need to manage their periods without shame and fear.
By ending period stigma, we can support all girls to manage their periods with pride
Abigail will always remember the uncertainty and worry that came with her first period. Now an adult, she is determined to do something about it.
Together, Abigail and her colleagues go to schools to educate girls and young women about how to manage their periods, debunk myths, and talk to boys and teachers about how they can support girls during their periods.
By donating today, you can support girls like Abigail to end period shame so they can continue their education and follow their dreams without fear and discrimination. Your donation could go towards:
- Influencing governments to improve girls’ access to adequate facilities in schools.
- Setting up health clubs in schools for students to discuss menstrual health.
- Working with local community leaders to change attitudes so that menstruation issues can be discussed.
- Using drama shows and creating learning materials to break down harmful social stigmas, and myths around menstruation.
- Helping schools to make their toilets girl-friendly, including internally lockable doors.
- Distributing dignity kits with all the essential items girls need to manage their periods.
- Strengthening local supply chains so girls can access menstrual health products and toilets.
- Support women-led businesses to produce reusable pads
Education is the key to a future where all girls have choices and opportunities in life.
Will you stand with girls and help create a world where period shame doesn’t stop a girl from going to school, getting an education and living a healthy life?
How period stigma and myths impact girls, women and all people who menstruate around the globe.
- 500 million girls and women globally lack the facilities to properly manage their periods.
- Many women who are on their periods are not allowed to be in the kitchen or attend ritual practices, according to a 2016 Hindustan Times report on period taboo in India.
- Research from The Wire in India reported that roughly 28% of girls said they do not go to school during their period because they don’t have sanitary or affordable menstrual products.
- In Sierra Leone, myths surrounding menstruation include; once a girl gets her period, it means she has been sexually active; and the beginning of menstruation signifies the end of childhood.
- In rural parts of Bangladesh, there’s a misconception that periods are a form of punishment or curse.
- In the United Kingdom, more than 137,700 of girls in the UK missed school in 2017 because they couldn’t afford menstrual products. Shame and stigma surrounding that, according to the Independent, resulted in a loss of education for these girls.