Meet the founder of She for She:
Mary Consolata Namagambe
My name is Mary Consolata Namagambe. I am an unapologetic feminist, vocal girls’ rights advocate and a law student. Early on, I was ushered into the world of advocacy and social change. My journey towards founding She for She was through the work I have been committed to in Denmark concerning people of African descent.
I have been active in creating greater equity and challenging racist norms throughout the country. Because of this, I created an organization called UVU – Foreigner Guides Foreigner. UVU- Foreigner Guides Foreigner was a project that aimed to provide voluntary guidance to newcomers to Denmark, immigrants and Danes from varying ethnic backgrounds who wish to familiarize themselves with the various educational opportunities available to them in order to enroll in higher education. The guidance was conducted by volunteer counselors who are either currently or recently graduated university students and who represent a multitude of nationalities and ethnic backgrounds offering youth of different nationalities guidance and support to start an education to achieve their full potential.
Experiencing, first-hand, the racism that exists in Denmark as an Afro-Danish woman, I have used my voice to amplify these issues within civil society. My work has gained local and national attention via articles written in news publications, as well as many speaking engagements where I have been invited to present. Through my work, I also became familiar with injustices, which women face globally, especially those in poverty stricken nations and communities. Many of them lack access to necessary items such as hygiene and menstrual products. Many women described how they had to choose between paying their child’s school fees or buying menstrual products. School girls describing the stigma around menstruation is distressing for girls who can’t afford sanitary products. Many use crude materials such as bark and sand instead of proper sanitary products and were suffering from health issues and social stigma as a result. Knowing this pushed me to take action for girls and women by creating reusable pads. Our movement She for She is already unfolding as we have provided 800 pads to Gambian school girls, 600 pads to Kenyan school girls, 1600 pads to Senegalese school girls and prisoners, and recently 800 pads to orphans in Uganda. We have expanded our business to Senegal and Guniea teaching over 20 women how to sew reusable pads and conduct their own businesses.
I am building a world where no girls stay home from school because of her periods. I am building a world whereby talking about menstruation is something as natural as talking about what you had for dinner last night. I am building a world whereby something as natural as menstruation shouldn’t keep a girl away from school, shouldn’t keep a girl away from fulfilling her full potential.