It was a day full of joy, when at Partners For Conservation, we received an email from our board member Samira Rajabi, PhD, about her winning for PFC the Rotary eClub One’s grant to support Menstruation Health Management project.
Since 2015 Partners For Conservation is promoting Public Health to drive local community involvement in the preservation of a biodiversity legacy. Our focus has always been to support poor, marginalized and vulnerable people.
This particular support will help Partners For Conservation implement Menstruation Health Management, a component of its Public Health Programme.
Menstruation Health Management, Menstruation affects half of the world population once per month. Still, for many women and girls the monthly bleeding poses big problems especially to those, who have limited access to suitable products, sanitation and pain killers. Especially for low income families where effective and hygienic materials like pads, tampons or menstrual cups are not affordable. This means that in many cases women rely on alternative materials that are mostly uncomfortable, not hygienic and not sufficient, like pieces of fabric, leaves or toilet paper. But not only the fact that menstrual health products are not affordable for many people, also stereotypes, taboos and myths are big problems for girls and women. In many societies girls who are in menstruation are seen as not clean and face restrictions. This is the case in Rwanda where high costs of menstrual health products as well as the existence of stereotypes affect women especially in rural areas.
This project targets 125 women from Kabagorozi cell of Nyange sector in Musanze district, in the Northern Province of Rwanda, in the surroundings of the Volcanoes National Park. According to many reports, health situation around this park is not good due to poor sanitation, insufficiency of health services and poverty. And the most affected are indigenous people that suffer other diseases alike the Sexual Transmissible Diseases (STD), un-infectious diseases, chronic diseases, cardiovascular diseases, delinquent behaviors, psychological diseases, and diseases related to malnutrition and poor hygiene/sanitation
From this perspective, two main questions rise: (1) How can we talk about Equality in conservation and (2) What conservation would look like when a half of the world population is sidelined?
Partners For Conservation sought the need of improved hygiene for women to gain their right place for equality in conservation. This project aims at first of all educating women about their bodies and menstruation, raising their awareness about myths and taboos whereas the secondary aim is to providing them with necessary skills to make for themselves alternative and disposable sanitary pads in form of reusable pads. The project will teach women how to sew reusable sanitary pads out of types of materials available at the local markets such as cottons that are washable and that are used for up to two years. Equipping women with such knowledge and skills, will help them overcome isolation and stigma.