Today is World Children’s Day, celebrated to mark the date in 1959 when the UN General Assembly formally adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child. The declaration applies to anyone under the age of 18. It is wide ranging and speaks, amongst other things, of the rights of a child to play, respect for their views and protection from violence. You can find a simple graphic summary of the Rights of the Child here
Article 28 speaks of the right of every child to education. I was 6 weeks old when the convention was adopted and benefitted from free education up to the age of 18, becoming an educator myself as an adult. I am hugely grateful for that privilege, and for my three children’s access to education too. Many children around the world are not so fortunate and girls in particular can be excluded from this right for one reason – period poverty.
From our experience in Western Kenya, we know that reaching puberty means that some girls stop going to school, simply because they do not have access to adequate sanitary provision. Being out of school means they are more likely to marry and have children very young, or be put at risk of sexual exploitation or abuse. Their rights as children are being violated in more than one way.
Having access to reusable period pads can reduce these risks, giving girls who start their periods the opportunity to continue their education and fulfil their potential. At Power of Pads we have already seen the difference this makes to the girls that our partner organisations in rural Kenya have reached out to. Help us celebrate these girls right to an education today.