Uganda: Addressing Stigma Helps Girls Finish School

May 26, 2019

Helping schoolgirls in Uganda learn how to better manage menstrual health equips them to stay in school, helping them become economically independent.

Girls and women worldwide often face cultural and social barriers around their menstrual cycles. In sub-Saharan Africa, an estimated one in 10 girls misses school during her period (UNESCO), and many girls simply drop out once they begin menstruating.

An IOCC Foundation–funded initiative at St. Archangel Michael Orthodox Secondary School in Gulu, Uganda, aims to help girls improve menstrual health management—a growing focus in the development world. The ability to manage her period with dignity and confidence helps a young woman complete her education and achieve better quality of life.

Schoolgirls at Gulu are receiving sanitary supplies, learning to make their own washable, reusable sanitary pads, and gaining practical knowledge about managing discomfort, pain, and cleanliness. For young Ugandan women, all this adds up to better overall health, the ability to confidently manage menstruation, and improved odds of succeeding in school.