international women's day

WEEMA Celebrates International Women's Day!

WEEMA staff in Ethiopia celebrated International Women’s Day with presentations promoting women’s rights.

The day’s activities were a collaborative effort of community stakeholders to end gender-based violence and to empower females. Participants ranged from students to parents to government officials of both genders.

Festivities began with a drama that focused on women's issues performed by members of the community. There also were poetry readings,  testimonials, storytelling and a presentation and tour of the new women’s menstrual hygiene and sanitation room at Saruma Primary and Middle School.  After the tour a discussion about the importance of menstrual health was held.

International Women's Day

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This International Women’s Day, we are proud to celebrate women everywhere by announcing WEEMA’s new project, Menstrual Health and Hygiene Management in Kembata Tembaro Zone for School Girls at Saruma Primary and Middle School.

Due to cultural norms, menstruation is not openly discussed or well understood, so girls tend to endure challenges in silence. Without access to sanitary pads, many girls often have no choice but to use rag clothes or other unsanitary alternatives. Besides the discomfort and risk of infection from using rags, girls are also afraid of embarrassment from an accident if using a rag while at school. 

In Saruma, as in many similar rural schools, menstruation is a common reason for school absenteeism and even school drop out.

This project aims to change mindsets of girls, boys and parents concerning menstrual health. WEEMA will teach about menstruation health and hygiene management (MHHM) in order to break stigmas and keep girls in school. We will also distribute MHHM kits produced by Studio Samuel Foundation.

These kits include:

  • soap
  • underwear
  • a washcloth
  • two reusable pads
  • plastic bag

Studio Samuel is an NGO whose life skills training  includes teaching girls to sew high quality reusable pads using locally sourced materials through peer-to-peer learning. You can learn more about them here.

In the true spirit of women’s empowerment, WEEMA and the school will organize to show the school girls short videos and stories of successful women in leadership.