More than menstrual products
MELA FOR HER is more than its products.
In order to bring tangible change in the lives of women and girls, we engage in three main strategic areas: education, work and markets, where we intend to provide specific solutions to women and girls according to their context and needs.
Studies show that about 50% of girls are absent from school due to menstruation. Despite being physically present in the classroom, many girls are unable to perform well due to poor concentration resulting from the constant stress and worry about menstrual flow. In Ethiopia, only 25% of secondary school-aged girls attend secondary school.
The she@school program works together with local authorities and schools across the country to prevent girls’ absenteeism by promoting girls’ access to sustainable menstrual products and learning materials, and raising awareness of teachers and the school community. In collaboration with others, the program also aims at improving girl-friendly school water and sanitation facilities.
Inadequate supportive workplace environment for menstrual hygiene affects not only women’s health and wellbeing, but also the companies’ economic productivity. Taken as a whole, it severely affects the national economy. To effectively manage their menstruation, women require access to water, sanitation, and hygiene facilities, affordable and appropriate menstrual hygiene products and education, and a supportive environment where they can manage menstruation without embarrassment or stigma.
The she@work program aims to work together with the private sector in order to address the many challenges that women face at the workplace in relation to menstrual management. We encourage good practices and supporting women and girls’ access to sustainable menstrual products and information.
Sectors such as the menstrual hygiene offer new opportunities especially for young women to enter in the job market, acquire new skills and experiences, and get an income, while promoting access to sustainable menstrual products and education in their local communities. In Ethiopia, overall, access to sanitary pads by rural girls and women is very limited since most of the market is located in Addis and major cities.
The she@bussiness program aims to work with CSOs, women’s groups and cooperatives across the country to transform the current market system and ensure that high quality and affordable menstrual products are available and accessible for all women and girls.