END PERIOD SHAME
No one should be held back because of their period. Yet, for many girls and young women, the stigma and shame attached to menstruation can place their physical, sexual, and mental health at risk.
Many girls around the world have little access to sanitary products and adequate toilet facilities at school, which makes managing their period incredibly difficult. It restricts their movements when they have their period, and this affects their attendance and performance at school. Taboos, myths and shame surrounding menstruation can also lead to teasing, shaming and exclusion from daily activities, which all have a negative effect on a girl’s sense of dignity.
Periods are a universal fact of life wherever you live, which is why it's time to smash this damaging stigma and end all forms of period shame.
FIGHT CLIMATE CHANGE
Educating girls is one of the most effective, and most overlooked, ways to mitigate climate change. In fact, for every year a girl stays in school, her country’s climate resilience measurably improves. But unfortunately, climate change magnifies the inequalities girls already suffer, such as their unequal access to health, sexual reproductive health and rights, education, participation and protection.
We know that promoting girls’ leadership, and their political empowerment, supports them in accessing their rights, in gaining knowledge and skills, and influencing important climate decision-making in a fair way that contributes to climate justice. Studies also show that female leaders are incredibly effective in conservation and protection efforts and are more likely to pursue more sustainable futures for their communities.
All around the globe, there are more than 130 million girls currently not in school. This is because girls face a number of unique barriers in accessing education – such as the expectation that girls will often stay home to tend to domestic duties while their male siblings attend school. But every girl, no matter where they are born, deserves the opportunity to learn, grow, and be the best she can be. For every additional year of school that a girl completes, infant mortality rates are reduced by 5 to 10%. And 12 years of education for every girl would reduce child marriage worldwide by 64 percent.
The effects of education are powerful and they're long-lasting. And when girls are able to complete their secondary education or equivalent, they are also more likely to have control over their income, to marry later, and have a smaller and healthier family. Plus, she’ll go on to educate her family and her community – and she’ll break the cycle of poverty. This is the potential and power of education.
Plan International Australia is the charity for girls’ equality.
For over 80 years, they have tackled the root causes of poverty, support communities through crisis, campaign for gender equality, and help governments do what’s right for children and particularly for girls. They bring people together to create change that lasts.
They believe a better world is possible. An equal world; a world where all children can live happy and healthy lives, and where girls can take their rightful place as equals.
You can find out more about Plan International Australia's work with girls around the world by visiting plan.org.au