For many young girls in Kenya, properly managing a menstrual cycle with adequate sanitary products is a luxury. Roughly one million Kenyan girls miss out on education each month because they are unable to afford menstrual products. Girls and women are unable to work or participate in education for days at a time, placing them at a disadvantage in comparison to their male peers. Some girls even resort to sharing menstrual products in a desperate attempt to find a solution to period poverty in Kenya. Though access to menstrual products is a multi-faceted issue in Kenya, as Inua Dada we are making it possible for girls to properly manage their periods and continue with life as usual.
Research shows that 65% of Kenyan women and girls are unable to afford basic sanitary pads. As a consequence, girls often rely on the men in their lives for period products and some girls engage in transactional sex in order to secure sanitary products, perpetuating a patriarchal cycle of reliance and exploitation.
‘My First Time’ is Inua Dada’s core Menstrual Health Management and Advocacy Program, which uses storytelling to debunk Menstrual Health myths, strengthen awareness on Reproductive Health and Rights, produce Sanitary Pads in collaboration with the Pad Project and distribute sanitary pads to girls and women in need. Inspired by Inua Dada Founder’s book ‘My First Time’, an advocacy tool for raising awareness and breaking down stigma and taboos around Menstruation and Menstrual Health and keeping policy makers accountable.