8th March 2024

For #InternationalWomensDay, the theme this year is #InspireInclusion. As the saying goes ‘if you can’t see it you can’t be it’ and in rural Kenya, women and girls are mainly seen as home makers, making it hard for communities to see women in leadership roles. It’s important to start at grass roots level and education is the cornerstone on which the future is based. Giving girls the ability to access quality education is vital, however, if girls miss one week of schooling every month it isn’t rocket science to see that they will fall behind with the obvious consequences.

Girls are not encouraged to be aspirational, and it is difficult for them to be inspired if they don’t see women in positions of power. The recent increase in cost of living is affecting everyone and there is a worrying increase in gender-based violence in Kenya, which has been associated with the economic downturn. There are many aspects to the inequalities of life in rural areas but achieving meaningful education for girls should not be denied to them for want of period pads. One of the organisations we work with is called Agatha Amani House and they take in abused women and sometimes their children. They aim to keep them safe and to teach them life skills so that they can re-enter their life with a means to generating a small income. Making period pads has taught them dressmaking skills which can hopefully be expanded upon.

Power Of Pads has been sponsoring small groups of women to work together to make period pads by funding the purchase of sewing machines and fabric. We are not prescriptive in how these groups work but we do encourage them to report back their successes and failures and we are there to offer support if they should need it. The groups we are working with all use different models, but each are successful in their own ways. It is always lovely to see photos of happy smiling schoolgirls receiving their pads, because we know that this could be the gateway to them feeling included in their future. #InspireInclusion.

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