Importance of Investing in Menstrual Hygiene

Written by Jenny Jecrois- Roughly 500 million girls and women globally face limited access to managing their menstruation, according to the FSG report . The Menstrual Health in Kenya Analysis reports that 65% of women are unable to afford sanitary pads, 50% of girls openly discuss menstruation at home, 32% of rural schools have facilities available for menstrual needs, and only 12% of girls feel comfortable receiving menstrual information from their mothers. There is a significant barrier to menstrual hygiene management (MHM) across Kenya, and it considerably harms girls and women living in low-income areas.   Fortunately, the importance of menstrual health is no longer unnoticed by global health organizations as they acknowledge that menstrual health is a matter of human rights. The report, Making the Case for Investing in Menstrual Health and Hygiene , is part of the growing effort in advancing menstrual health and hygiene (MHH) needs. In this report, it is stated that despite the i

Period Poverty Enhanced during COVID-19 and the Closing of Schools

09 March 2021 --- by Jenny Jecrois Anyone that menstruates requires sanitary products and access to hygienic facilities. However, young girls and women are ripped away from the opportunity to safely and comfortably manage their menses, this is called period poverty.  Schools are back in session in Kenya after a nine-month shut down as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Thousands of learners have failed to return back to school which has caused great fear. Many reports from All Africa have presumed that girls aged 10-19 years old have the lowest student turnout due to pregnancies that occurred between January to September 2020. Other learners took jobs in the farming and trade industries, which could also contribute to the small turnout in school attendance according to the same article. Covid-19 has emphasized scarce hygienic and sanitary products that already existed prior to the global pandemic. Therefore, the low student turn out especially for young women should be no surprise as

Ep 9: A man in a woman’s world

  Gender inequality is an issue that manifests across the globe and throughout human history. In fact, the oldest records of this inequality were found in China more than 2,500 years ago.   The most common definition   of “gender inequality” is “[a] social process by which people are treated differently and disadvantageously, under similar circumstances, on the basis of gender.”  Gender inequality is an issue that is multidimensional and experienced in many different areas of society, such as gender discrimination in the workplace. On average, men will make more money for the same job that a woman has. In Kenya, “women earn Sh55 for every Sh100 a man earns,” according to the World Economic Forum  in a  Daily Nation  article . This practice happens quite frequently in corporate hiring and employee salaries. Anne Mutie, a corporate law counsel, stated, “What ends up happening in practice is favoritism and chauvinism, particularly in the aspect of equal pay for work of equal value done.”

Ep 8: Menstrual Hygiene and Coronavirus in Kenya

Fan Tai Bridges Inadequate access to sanitary towels and menstrual resources is a familiar issue in Kenya that has pre-existed long before COVID-19. In fact, two out of three people who menstruate cannot afford sanitary towels and products,   according to figures collected by FSG , a non-profit consulting firm. The challenges that prevent menstrual hygiene can vary on location and communities across Kenya. Among other causes, reasons can range from a lack of physical supplies, cost, and social taboos regarding basic menstrual hygiene and health. For example, an article published by the Daily Nation reported that policies on menstrual cycles had been enacted in Nairobi but rarely outside of the city. Cartels have even been   reported to hijack government projects to provide sanitary towels , leaving little for the targeted communities. And these inadequacies pose various consequences for anyone who has periods, as well as the overall growth of Kenya. Menstrual hygiene plays an enormous

Ep 7: Interview with Velma Oseko

Fan Tai Bridges    Hello and welcome back to voices for change. I’m Fan Tai Bridges your host and today I am joined with Velma of Seiko from the Programmatic Communications Platform. I will be interviewing Ms. Oseko about climate change in Kenya, from the expert herself, along with her organization’s own commitment and mission for climate change action.  Thank you, Ms. Oseko for joining us. I know that your time is very valuable. So, we appreciate that you came in and shared your insights for climate change. Let’s start with how much does the general public know about climate change in Kenya? And along with that, is it well talked about in the media and included in educational curriculums? How do we see this issue day to day? Velma Oseko    The general public is largely aware about climate change. This is due to the fact that a majority of media houses have been running news on the effects of climate change. We have civil society actors also on the ground speaking a lot on matters of c

Ep 6: US and Kenyan citizen responses to COVID-19: Masks, Misinformation and Mistreatment

COVID-19 has entered the consciousness of all people around the world, but not all have chosen to accept it. Conspiracy theories, accusations against the government and denying its existence have been prevalent in many countries, such as Kenya and the US. In March, the US Center for Disease Control announced that masks were only for those who were symptomatic, while the Kenyan government closed airports, churches, schools and mosques. In April, individual US states started to mandate mask wearing for everyone. In May, Kenya ordered a countrywide mask mandate with a fine of Sh20,000 or imprisonment not exceeding 6 months or both. Both experienced shutdowns and reopening, drops in economic prosperity and employment, and both had relatively similar responses to COVID-19. In the US, many reacted negatively with the announcement of a pandemic. Many reject the idea of such a virus, calling it a hoax and creating conspiracy theories to try and disprove COVID-19 and public health offi

Ep 5: Climate crash course pt 3 - Who’s in charge and why is it still a problem?

         For the past couple of weeks, we have been doing a “climate change crash course” that provides a foundation on the issue and why you should care. Climate change has the force to alter the earth’s systems as we know it. All over the world, countries will experience severe natural disasters, population displacement, and a decrease in public health, among many other implications. It has a global impact, but developing countries and vulnerable communities will carry most of the burden. And their challenges will be felt by the rest of the world. It is hard to believe that a crisis so detrimental to the global community has not been solved already. This week, we will discuss the complexities of addressing climate change and examine the effectiveness of current efforts.  Data Collection and Decision Making First and foremost, government and international action is the key to solving climate change; however, the nature of climate data makes it hard for scientists to convince decision-