Imagine if you were shamed for menstruating, if your school did not have a toilet, if you could not afford supplies, and you had to resort to using items such as rags, newspaper, bark and leaves. Would you feel comfortable? Would you feel confident enough to go to school?
The United Nations calls unsanitary menstrual hygiene protection an overlooked problem that hinders the achievement of universal gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. Listed as Goal 5 in the United Nations’ millennium development goals.
Studies show that young women miss up to 20% of their schooling because they fear embarrassment, shame, and stigma during menstruation. These feelings stem from the following issues:
- Menstrual hygiene products can be prohibitively expensive
- Many schools don’t have toilets or basic sanitation
- There is still a cultural stigma to having your period
- Lack of access to product for women and girls
All girls deserve an education, period. The Red Tent Project aims to do just that. Educate young women about their periods and provide them with the products needed to give them the confidence to finish school, follow their dreams, and to rise and thrive in their communities.