The UN believes 1 in 10 girls in sub-Saharan Africa miss school during their period – potentially
She for She, based in Uganda, is a hybrid company that is working to support young women stay in school and reach their potential. The company is tackling two core humanitarian issues at once: a lack of access to appropriate health care information and products; and the rate at which young girls in Africa drop out of schooling. Their latest initiative is to create truly affordable sanitary pads combined with health education through an interactive comic-based pamphlet that is designed to enable girls to make informed decisions and measurably increase their productivity and health.
Research has shown that pads and healthcare information win back 75% of learning days, helping girls to stay in school and fulfil their potential. By 2021 the company aims to reach three million girls with pads and supply over ten million comic books across Africa.
The She for She Project
She for She is a social enterprise with the aim to equip and empower women in Uganda to produce and sell affordable and reusable pads to keep girls in school and offer affordable menstrual products for the every-day woman in Uganda.
The idea behind She for She is that girls and women should have the capacity to take their life into their own hands and reach their full potential, through stable income generation and access to education.
Economic Empowerment of Vulnerable Women
Currently, all reusable pads from She for She are produced by Ugandan women in Kampala and from the Ugandan village, Mateete, where I was born and raised. She for She is working with the organization GIRL CHILD ADVOCACY INITIATIVE, an organization that teaches women how to operate sewing machines. Through this cooperation, we will be able to create and offer jobs to the women the organization focuses on, and as such, empowerment overall stands within our core.
Vulnerable women are taught the necessary skills in order to produce our reusable pads and areempowered through their work and role to provide for their family. The reason for choosing womenas beneficiaries is due to their role as household and financial caretakers for the whole family. Assuch it is key to focus on empowering them through employment.
In addition to offering reusable pads, She for She also works directly with schoolgirls as well asschoolboys. She for She teaches schoolgirls and boys about menstruation and menstrual hygienemanagement with sustainable options and girls empowerment. The purpose is for schoolgirls tounderstand their bodies & menstruation, and to break existing taboos and misconceptionssurrounding it, as well as inform how to handle their periods hygienically so that they can remainhealthy and attend school. Furthermore, our teachings also target schoolboys in order to fightmisconceptions about menstruations.
She for She in Northern Uganda in Gulu
In 2017 She for She began a partnership with Hope Gulu Center.
Gulu Centers’ vision is to create a community of educated and creative youth by providing a safe environment for learning literacy, arts, technology, and health.
She for She went to Gulu to teach a group of local women how to safely make and maintain their own reusable pads.
This environmentally-friendly and economically-sustainable local approach to making pads, not only empowers young girls by giving them the tools they need to stay in school and the confidence to fight the taboo against menstruation, but it also provides a viable source of income for young women and girls. This grassroots movement is another important step towards female equality in Uganda and we are so grateful for She for She for providing the education and tools we need to be a part of this movement!