Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter


×
Girls at the Parents Care Infant Academy, including 14-year-old Catherine Nantume, are sewing a reusable sanitary towel in Makindye Kampala, VOA

Kampala, April 8, 2017: Providing sanitary pads to schoolgirls is a controversial subject in Uganda.

During the 2016 election campaign, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni pledged to buy sanitary towels for girls in need. The government estimates that 30 percent of Ugandan girls from poor families miss school because of lack of sanitary towels.


But in February this year, the first lady, who is also the minister for education, told parliament the government didn’t have enough funding for the president’s $4.4 million initiative.

This angered Makerere University researcher Stella Nyanzi, who created Pads for Girls Uganda on the social media site Facebook to collect donations of sanitary towels. Soon, however, she found herself in a police interrogation room accused of insulting the first lady online.

NewsGram brings to you current foreign news from all over the world.

“The interrogation was about four hours,” Nyanzi said. “By the time I was out, my sister, who had my mobile phone number, said, ‘By the way, you are almost getting to your one million pads.’ The following day was Women’s Day and, surprisingly, we got one million sanitary pads within two days.”

Nyanzi continues to push the government to make sanitary pads for girls a priority. Public debate about the subject continues, and the government recently announced that sanitary pads are now to be sold free of value-added tax.

Girls at the Parents Care Infant Academy, in the slum area of Makindye, have taken matters into their own hands.

NewsGram brings to you top news around the world today.

At the back of the class, there are four sewing machines that students use to make reusable sanitary towels. Large pieces of pink cloth are laid on the table as some of the girls carefully measure and cut, then place a piece of cotton in between and stitch with pins. Ready to be sewn, it is then passed onto the tailors, who include 14-year-old Nantume Catherine.

“Oh, this hole, it’s used to put there cotton, that cotton to hold blood to not come out. You remove it, you throw and you wash it through this hole,” she said.

Sarah Sanyu is the headmistress of the school.

“It was very, very difficult for these girls to stay in public without having these pads,” Sanyu said, “so when we got this idea of making sanitary pads, we bought the materials for ourselves, then we got someone to come and teach us.”

The school also held a special class to teach the girls about menstruation.

Some question the cleanliness of reusable pads, but health officials assure VOA they are safe if properly washed with soap and water. However, access to clean water is not a guarantee in some parts of Uganda.

Check out NewsGram for latest international news updates.

So important are sanitary pads to keeping girls in school that the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) has distributed 50,000 disposable pads in 14 districts of Uganda since November of 2015.

“It has been very difficult to keep girls in schools, especially in Karamoja, where they have to use leaves,” said Dr. Edson Herbert Muhwezi, assistant representative at UNFPA Uganda. “There are no rags to use, some of them even sit in the sun hoping to dry. They are kept there isolated, staying four days and nights in the bush. It’s really dehumanizing.”

Nyanzi says that is unacceptable. She visits schools to pass out the pads donated to her Facebook group, urging the girls not to let their circumstances hold them down. (VOA)


Popular

Photo by Flickr

As December is here, here are some of the books which you can read.

As December is here, here are some of the books which you can read. At last, what is December known for if not Christmas lights, hot chocolate, and good books?

The Deal of a Lifetime by Fredrik Backman

Keep Reading Show less

HUH Token’s launch is going to make more than a little splash.

The wait is over for Polkadot’s and HUH Token’s launch and it’s not shocking that the two are causing ripples in the cryptocurrency world.

Polkadot’s creator co-founded Ethereum, one of the most well-known and well-used blockchains on the crypto market today that envisaged Ethereum being used in far-reaching ways that even he couldn’t conceive of.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Antonika Chanel on Unsplash

Facial skin is more delicate than the skin on the rest of the body and demands a lot of attention and care.

By N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe

There is nothing better than a healthy glowing. What people dont tell you is that make-up also looks better on healthy rejuvenated skin. A lot of focus is given to cleansing and moisturising, but face massage is equally important. Massaging the face increases blood circulation and relaxes the skin, taking the stress and tiredness right out. Face massages can also help in collagen synthesis to ensure skin brightening and smoothening the fine lines. One should massage their face 2 to 3 times a week to get the desired results.

Rachit Gupta, Director, OxyGlow Cosmetics Pvt. Ltd. shares, "Facial skin is more delicate than the skin on the rest of the body and demands a lot of attention and care. Hectic lifestyles make the facial skin lose the sheen and natural glow. The solution for common problems like patchy skin tone, dullness, acne, scars or spots, premature ageing, etc is to include face massages with natural gels in one's routine. Gels are recommended especially as they suit varied skin types and do not harm the skin. They lightly moisturise and bring back the shine of the face. Just 5 minutes of care can give wonderful results not just in terms of a healthier skin but as a great stress buster."

wman touching her neck Hectic lifestyles make the facial skin lose the sheen and natural glow. | Photo by Angélica Echeverry on Unsplash

Keep reading... Show less