Annually, thousands of girls across the Northern Cape stay home during their monthly menstrual cycle due to the lack of affordable sanitary products. This causes much distress and puts them at a disadvantage as their right to education is being infringed upon. These are just some of the reasons why REISA is funding ‘The Girl Effect Project’ in five Northern Cape schools, currently participating in the Ubuntu School Project.
“REISA is supporting this Project to reduce the impact that poverty has on accessibility and affordability of commercial sanitary towels,” explained Sizile Mabaso, Chief Community Operations Officer of REISA.
During a recent survey conducted at the 5 schools (Sishen Intermediate Mine School; Deben Primary School; Gamagara High School; Maikaelelo Primary School; Langberg High School) learners commented that they often use unhygienic alternatives to commercial sanitary products, which pose a health risk. Learners expressed that it is a stressful time and that they often choose not to attend school for the duration of their menstrual cycle, to avoid embarrassment.
“The Girl Effect Project strives to achieve gender equality and empower women and girls by providing equal access to education and thereby helping to level the playing field, as girls are currently missing up to 5 days of school each month. Missing school one week every month is a massive set back in their school careers,” stressed Mabaso
This Project is in line with REISA’s Strategy, responding to a number of Sustainable Development Goals, namely good health and well-being, quality education and gender equality.
The Subz Pads are washable sanitary pads and panties designed especially for the under privileged girls. The panty is made of 100% cotton knit, which allows the skin to breathe and is an eco-friendly/green solution and is SABS Absorbance approved.
In addition to receiving a supply of sanitary wear, which is designed to last for a period of 5 years, girls are educated on menstrual hygiene and how to use the Subz Pack. This educational programme provides an enabling environment, where girls can ask questions in a supportive space.
2nd Floor, Fernwood House, The Oval, 1 Oakdale Road,
Newlands, Cape Town, 7700
REISA Local Community Office:
Dynlog Management Development Building,
Block B, Ground Floor,
Office 1, Kameeldoring Business Zone,
Kathu, Northern Cape, 8446