Monday, April 03, 2006

Different for girls

At 3.30 on Sunday morning, I was in a bathroom in N5 improvising sanitary protection out of loo roll*. It had been a lovely evening, but I was tired and emotional in every sense. I was swearing gently to myself when I suddenly remembered a story I read last week on the BBC website, about how girls in Kenya often don't go to school when they get their periods because they can't afford sanitary towels. I looked at the big fluffy toilet roll I was holding and I burst into tears.

Tonight I had a little look at the gloriously jargon-ridden website of the Girl Child Network ("Gender mainstreaming in the Water and Sanitation sector, is silent on Menstrual management"). They have launched a campaign to provide 800,000 schoolgirls with sanitary towels and education on how to use them. I'll be buying my carton.


If you find yourself needing to do this, and if you never do you are clearly more together than I am, my tried and tested method is as follows: wrap paper around the middle bit of your pants (I am trying to do this without using the word 'gusset') four or five times, then tear off leaving enough trailing to go round another couple of times. Then roll a loose sausage from another 4-5 sheets, and bind it in with the trailing piece. Pull your pants up as high as they will go, and cross your fingers. This should see you through till the newsagent opens in the morning.


Blogger Sabita Banerji said...

Great technique, the extra sausage innovation is particularly ingenious - will try it next time Manchester start playing at home after the shops shut.

In the aftermath of the tsunami, 'menstrual management' (a term surely invented by a man) becase quite an issue. There was even, I seem to remember, a 'give sanitary towels to tsunami victims' protest march by some angry western women. And a shipload of 'fairy hammocks' (thank you Jo Brand, for that wonderfully sarcastic euphemism) was dispatched from Hong Kong harbour.

But my favourite tsumani sanitary protection story was when it was discovered that the fabric, sent in large rolls to some villages, was being used by the men as lunghis (sort of male sarongs). They made a not that next time they should cut the material into strips before sending out... and maybe include some instructions.

Just goes to show the importance of monitoring and evaluation.

love Non-Plumbing S

8:45 pm  

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