Kenya isn’t exactly known for its equality when it comes to men and women. That was made evidently apparent when the Greenwich-based organization, ZanaAfrica decided to dig deeper in what really goes on. It was found that the second most costly item for Kenyan women are sanitary pads, the second was bread. According to the ZanaAfrica website (http://www.zanaa.org/), Kenyan adolescent girls miss 3.5 million learning days per month, this is due to insufficient funding for sanitary pads. These girls are so poverty stricken, they sometimes turn to dried cow dung to catch their menstrual flow. Some even turn to inserting wool directly into their vagina to block menstrual flow or going through trash to find used pads that they wash and reuse. Not only is this demeaning, but it also leads to health and sanitation issues. Due to losing days in school, these girls are dropping out which just pushes them towards unemployment; that is now about 54% of Kenya’s population. ZanaAfrica is now working to educate and empower these girls to better their lives.
My first thought to this was wow, my first feeling was anger. This is a
prime example of how bad inequality in the world actually is. Women are so
lowly thought of, that they have to dig through trash or use animal faeces as
sanitary pads. To think that sanitary pads are one of the most costly items for
women aside from bread is ridiculous. It’s pathetic that due to the cost of sanitary
pads women are at an even higher risk of dropping out of school and ultimately adding
to Kenya’s unemployment rate. I feel that this also points out the importance
of education. As a society, we all need to take a step back and look at this
from the macro-perspective to answer what this is doing to us as a whole.