Period Poverty in Ethiopia
In Ethiopia, many women of all ages suffer from improper hygiene during their periods. Here is how the organization Dignity Period is currently making a difference regarding period poverty in Ethiopia, both for the country and even worldwide.

What is Period Poverty?

For those who may be unfamiliar, period poverty is the lack of menstrual products for women, both tools and education alike. This includes (but is not limited to) washing, sanitization and waste management facilities. Due to the struggles that such a lack thereof causes, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) proved in 2014 that one out of 10 young women are prone to skipping school due to their inability to access proper treatment.

Ethiopia continues to suffer from this problem plenty nowadays, as only 16% of women residing in rural areas reportedly have access to such products, as the studies that the Ethiopian Ministry of Health completed have indicated. Many have since put their efforts forward to offer aid to the country but have been unsuccessful in making any long-term improvements. However, Dignity Period is making a difference.

What is Dignity Period?

Founded by Dr. Lewis Hall back in 2014, Dignity Period is an organization with strong ties to both Tigray and Afar within Ethiopia’s upper regions. Wracked by the effects of the pandemic over these past few years, many women in these areas go without what they need during their periods. Dignity Project provides many different services to fight back against this difficulty, ranging from delivering handmade products to raising awareness.

For example, in partnership with Ayder Hospital, Dignity Period provides pad kits for postpartum mothers who need them the most. This partnership has proven successful in supplying more than 3,500 individuals in need back in 2021. Along with this, Dignity Period has hosted a multitude of events and services to bring awareness to and gather interest, such as fundraisers and donation sites. One of these events includes the “Paint it Pink Gala,” which the organization held in September 2022 as a method of fundraising for breast cancer awareness through a vast selection of products, ranging from handmade art to wine.

Yet, this appreciation does not end with physical gifts, as this team has also offered much of its research efforts to Ethiopia during its time working there. By partnering with alternative sources, it has provided plenty of powerful pieces regarding period poverty, intending to give the most strengthened and accurate information possible. Such investigations include everything from statistics on female attendance in school to details on menstrual hygiene management and everything else in between.

As a result of the team’s continuous deeds, Dignity Period has proven successful in reaching more than 360,000 women experiencing period poverty in Ethiopia who need support the most. Should the organization continue to serve in this manner, it is more than likely that period poverty will be tackled for good in Ethiopia within the coming years.

– Nathan Bronk
Photo: Flickr