Ynis Isimbi is a Research and Evaluation Analyst at GIZ based at Rwanda’s Ministry of Economic Planning and Finance (MINECOFIN). She completed her MSc in Development Studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2018.
While to the privileged the implications of period poverty may not seem so consequential, the effects are in fact quite concerning. In 2017, 18% of young girls and women were not able to attend school or work because they could not afford sanitary products. This correlates to an estimated loss of RWF 98.3 billion ($115 million) of GDP a year. This is not only an issue of injustice, health, and dignity, but this is also a detriment to Rwanda’s economic growth. Period poverty further marginalises girls and women from low income families and perpetuates the systems of gender inequality.
To address school absenteeism and dropout rates due to period poverty, Icyumba Cy’umukobwa (The Girls Room) was introduced in schools, an initiative by the Ministry of Education in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Local government.
Icyumba Cy’umukobwa offers a safe space for young girls going through menstruation offering free sanitary products and other basic necessities like beds, pain relievers, and towels while they are at school. In addition, often times these rooms are attended by experienced female advisors that can help these young women navigate the challenges of menstruation.
This initiative has had a positive impact on dropout rates and absenteeism of young girls in school. However, there are still challenges of having fully equipped rooms. Furthermore, while Icyumba Cy’umukobwa addresses absenteeism and school dropout, it begs the question: what about those young girls and women not in school?
We at AfrIcan Talent Investment Project are committed to providing feminine sanitary napkins to Rwandan girls in need and support them, enabling to then to attend school and work during their cycle. We are asking for sponsorship for our Rwandan Students Sanitary Packs. The cost to support one student is $40 per Semester. Please partner with African Talent Investment Project to empower these young ladies. Please contact us at Africantalentinvestmentproject@gmail.com
or our website www.AfricanTalentInvestmentProject.com
Thank you for your support.