Girls Empowerment Project

The challenges faced by young girls at the onset of menstruation cause some of to miss school for some days or drop out altogether. Unfortunately Menstrual Management is missing from the agenda and the issue hardly captures the attention of policy makers, let alone the headlines. Water and sanitation facilities for girls in schools are also either totally missing, in deplorable condition or inadequate to meet the special needs of girls.

The main goal of the Empowering Girls In and Out of School project is to sustainably provide low cost sanitary pads to about 10,000 young girls in and out of school in Lindi and Mtwara regions of Tanzania. These sanitary pads will enable the girls to manage menses with dignity and in turn improve their school attendance and performance. The project will also provide behaviour change communication messages to reduce risky sexual behaviour among adolescents and delay the onset of sexual debut, with the ultimate goal of reducing schoolgirl pregnancies, school drop outs and sexually transmitted diseases including HIV.

An advocacy campaign will also break the silence on Menstrual Hygiene Management by (i) creating awareness on the topic and the impact it has on women and girls, (ii) exploring and sharing lessons of the management aspects, (iii) promoting integration of MHM in education, health and hygiene/life orientation strategies (iv)strengthening preventive programmes that promote women's sanitary health. In the long run, the Girls Empowerment project will also provide adequate water and sanitation facilities for girls in primary and secondary schools.

Project Summary

Intervention area(s): Water and Sanitation

Objectives: Improve school attendance and reproductive health

Donor: USAID

Geographic focus: Lindi and Mtwara Regions (targeting young girls in and out of school).

Activities: Develop and execute communication strategy and plan, monitor indicators.

September 2012 - August 2014.