An estimated 3 out of 10 girls in South Africa miss school because of menstruation each month, reports UNICEF.
As Menstrual Hygiene Day approached, Procter & Gamble South Africa and Always ramped up their Always Keeping Girls In School Initiative (AKGIS) to provide education and product to ensure that periods are not a limiting factor to girls’ futures.
The AKGIS initiative
The AKGIS initiative is inspired by the Always brand purpose, which is to unleash women and girls’ confidence so they can be whoever they want to be. During puberty, girls can feel especially low in confidence – especially in communities where taboos and stigmas exist around menstruation. It’s pivotal to provide girls with the support needed to feel less alone and emerge as self-assured, empowered young women.
Cassie Jaganyi, P&G Communications Lead: Sub-Saharan Africa says, “This year we are hoping to continue the growth of our AKGIS initiative and change the statistics around young women and menstruation. The AKGIS initiative is also furthered by our #WeSeeEqual strategy, which aims to propel gender equality by driving discussion and action on issues that matter.”
P&G are stepping up the AKGIS initiative this year by addressing the issues surrounding menstruation which includes awareness, acceptance as well as accessibility. The awareness element will ensure that there is constant generated awareness around menstrual hygiene and its associated issues while the acceptance and accessibility elements ensure that young women are appropriately educated on menstruation and that menstruation will not prohibit them from attending school, seeing friends, or participating in sport.
7 million pads provided so far
Over the last 5 years, P&G South Africa has provided over 7 million pads to girls across South Africa. It also provided 4.1 million pads as part of COVID-19 relief efforts. This year, it aims to provide another 2.4 million pads to 50 000 girls.
The 2021 #WeSeeEqual summit saw P&G commit to providing an additional 6 million pads by 2025, with an aim to eliminate menstruation-related issues which are gender-based barriers to girls’ education.
To read more about this programme, visit africa.pg.com