It’s hard enough for girls like Bridget to get to school. Girls in poor communities like hers are expected to collect water and help around the house. But when their periods start, the hurdles get even higher.
Without toilets at school, many teenage girls in rural Uganda miss school for a week every month – or drop out completely.
When teenage girls miss up to a week of school every month, this scuppers exam results and the chance of girls getting a route out of poverty: Unicef estimates that girls who stay in secondary school are six times less likely to marry young.
As AG Care, our partner in Malawi, says, ‘An educated girl is empowered.’
At Toilet Twinning, we care passionately about removing the barriers that stand in the way of girls getting an education – so providing proper toilets in schools is a vital part of our work. The girls’ loos we help fund include a changing room so female students can wash and return to class during their periods.
And our partners are also helping girls access sanitary products for the first time, by distributing free pads or teaching them to make reusable ones from recycled cotton.
This Menstrual Hygiene Day, please follow us on Twitter and encourage any friends or family members who haven’t yet twinned their toilets to help end period poverty.
At Bridget’s school, 65 teenage girls re-enrolled within three months after our partner in Uganda installed a girls toilet block with a changing room.