Lilian: ‘I stand up for the rights of women and girls’

Lilian is the Country Director of Dorcas Tanzania.  

‘15.3% of all girls from Tanzania do not attend school during menstruation, according to a survey done by UNICEF in 2021. The reasons for this include pain and discomfort, lack of menstrual materials, fear of embarrassment due to visible stains on their clothes, lack of a changing room, and lack of clean and suitable toilet facilities. This regular school absence reduces the girls’ academic performance and has a negative psychological impact on their lives.’ 

‘Menstruation is a natural process, and no woman should pay the price for this in terms of academic progress, exclusion or disengagement. Women and girls from low-income families are particularly vulnerable due to their limited awareness of hygienic practices and lack of appropriate sanitary materials.’

‘We tackle these issues by raising awareness of menstrual hygiene among schoolgirls, boys and teachers, and creating an environment in schools and local communities that supports menstrual hygiene. ‘Furthermore, we ensure all girls and women, including those from marginalised communities, have access to reusable sanitary pads and improved latrines at school and at home. This effort includes making soft loans available to purchase sanitary materials and latrines, ensuring retailers and pharmacies in local communities are connected with the sanitary pad supply chain, and training local people to construct improved latrines and rainwater harvesting tanks.’ 

‘I hope that as a result of all these efforts, girls missing school due to menstruation will soon become a thing of the past.’ 

𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘺 𝘪𝘴 𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘋𝘰𝘳𝘤𝘢𝘴’ 𝘩𝘶𝘮𝘢𝘯 𝘳𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵𝘴 𝘤𝘢𝘮𝘱𝘢𝘪𝘨𝘯. 𝘙𝘦𝘢𝘥 𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘴 𝘰𝘯 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘥𝘦𝘥𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘩𝘶𝘮𝘢𝘯 𝘳𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵𝘴 𝘱𝘢𝘨𝘦. Human Rights: Contributing to a just society – Dorcas

09 January 2024

Are you inspired?

Read the next story or contact us to get to know more about making an impact together.