Having a period is a natural process and part of normal life for girls and women. However for many girls’ their journey into adolescence can be challenging and they may face significant pressures and stigma.
Filmed in Kibera, Kenya, our new film provides an overview of menstruation and the processes that occur during puberty. The film is designed to empower girls with simple knowledge, including basic biology and hygiene practice, encouraging them to not let this natural process affect their day to day lives or standing in society and to help keep them in education.
The lack of effective reproductive health education and sanitary products are some of the key factors resulting in as many at 1 million girls in Kenya not going to school. Girls in Uganda have been found to miss up to eight days of school each term (11% of their total learning days each year) for the same reasons, and it has been estimated that 1/10 girls across the whole of Africa will miss school when they have their period.
The combination of this lack of access to information, need for sanitary pads and stigmatisation leaves young girls susceptible to disease, unplanned pregnancies, early marriage, and female genital mutilation, which can result in unnecessary dropout rates amongst teenage girls in school. To put it simply, adolescence can lead to the end of education for many girls around the world.
The film was filmed alongside Carolina for Kibera, an international NGO that uses sports to teach healthy life choices and promote peace across gender and ethnic divides in Kibera. We are hoping that communities and healthworkers can use this film around the world to show young female populations that menstruation is normal and it should not affect their access to education and quality of life.