Every year, 11 October sees governments, organisations and charities around the world unite to observe the International Day of the Girl. The day is an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the achievements and successes earned by girls the world over and to discuss some of the important barriers to their progression, development and well-being.
The theme for 2021 is “the Digital Generation”. The world is becoming increasingly digitalised, and this has never been clearer than during the pandemic. Whilst many people have been lucky to benefit from accelerated digital learning platforms over the last two years, some 2.2 billion people under the age of 25 do not have internet access at home and girls are statistically likely to bear the brunt of this divide, with a gender gap of 43% in 2019 in the world’s least developed economies. Research shows that girls are also less likely to own digital devices and to gain access to tech-related skills and jobs.
One of the most important ways to combat this inequality is through education. The projects run by Power Of Pads ensure that girls and young women in some of the poorest communities in Kenya receive affordable and good quality menstrual hygiene products so that they can consistently attend school. This in turns ensures that they will not miss out on classes, skills and opportunities from persistent and repeated absences. By enabling girls to make the most of the education available to them, we can start to help bridge the gaps caused by inequity and exclusion that face the girls living in these challenging circumstances.