08 March 2023
Dakar, March 8, 2023 – On the occasion of International Women’s Day, Speak Up Africa and the social enterprise Kitambaa signed a partnership agreement to improve women’s and girls’ access to menstrual health services. This three-year agreement consolidates the long-standing collaboration between the two organizations to promote menstrual health and gender equality.
Access to adequate menstrual hygiene is one of the fundamental rights of women. Unfortunately, millions of women and girls in Africa still face significant challenges in managing their periods in safety and dignity due to a lack of information and adequate protective materials. In Senegal, for instance, 56% of young girls questioned during a recent UN Women study believe that they have already missed school during the period of menstruation, while 27% of women declared that bad practices impact their sexual health and reproductive.
The partnership agreement signed between Speak Up Africa and Kitambaa mainly aims to intensify the consideration of menstrual hygiene management in public policies.
“Our vision is to improve the economic and social well-being of women and girls by facilitating their access to appropriate information and materials for good menstrual hygiene management. We must no longer accept that menstruation, which is a simple biological fact, is an obstacle to the development of women and young girls”, Yaye Hélène Ndiaye, Executive Director of Kitambaa.
As part of this partnership, the interventions of Speak Up Africa and Kitambaa will focus on strengthening health systems for access to menstrual health services as well as the promotion of services related to menstrual hygiene management. These interventions will also focus on advocacy for resource mobilization for increased access to menstrual health services and the prioritization of menstrual hygiene and health among decision-makers.
“Menstrual health and hygiene are essential elements in the achievement of equality between women and men. We look forward to pursuing this partnership with Kitambaa, which will help ensure women and girls have the means to manage their menstruation with dignity. Only then can women and girls fully participate in economic and social development”, Yacine Djibo, Executive Director, Speak Up Africa.
In 2021, Speak Up Africa and Kitamba launched the project “Menstrual Hygiene Management: From Taboo to Economic Power” which aims to empower women and girls and inspire decision makers to implement policies that take into account the specific needs of women and girls in terms of menstrual hygiene management.