International Women's Day 2019
America has come a long way from women having limited rights, no privileges to vote, nor obtain a higher education. Few countries today still use these standards, as women fight for equality. In response, the United Nations dedicated a day to focus on innovative ways in which to advance gender equality and the empowerment of women.
What comes to mind when you hear International Women’s Day? Do you think about the fact that women have the same abilities that men have, and should be treated as such?
According to the UN, “International Women’s Day is a day when women are recognized for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political. International Women’s Day first emerged from the activities of labour movements at the turn of the twentieth century in North America and across Europe.”
Each year International Women’s Day has an exclusive theme. The theme for 2019 is #BalanceforBetter. The concept behind ‘Balance for Better’ is the fight to build a better gender-balanced world from topics like, health and hygiene to education as well as in the workplace. There has been a great number of women who have fought and are still fighting for a gender-balanced world.
The Importance of Feminine Hygiene
In many countries, the importance of feminine hygiene is not expressed. Without proper education or hygiene amenities available, girls are ignorant to the factors that are included in menstruation.
“There is no doubt that menstruation is associated with numerous physical, socio-cultural, and economic challenges for female students in the developing world. Among them are the physical discomforts and inconveniences of menstruation, ranging from cramps to headaches; lack of access to adequate sanitary materials and toilets on school grounds; and insufficient understanding of menstruation, which can lead to shame and poor preparation for dealing with the physical issues”
- “At least 500 million women and girls globally lack adequate facilities for menstrual hygiene management (MHM).”
- “Inadequate WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) facilities, particularly in public places, such as in schools, workplaces or health centers, can pose a major obstacle to women and girls.”
- “Without access to proper education, resources, girls are often forced to stay home from school during their periods, which leads them to miss anywhere from 10-20% of school days. Sometimes, they drop out of school completely.
The WASH Foundation works day in and day out to ensure that women all around the world are provided the resources needed to succeed, in support of #BalanceforBetter. We have developed a number of programs including our Microenterprise Program and our Feminine Hygiene Program to ensure women’s progress.
The famous Pakistani Nobel Peace Prize Winning Activist, Malala Yousafzai, is well-known for her fearlessness in standing up against the Taliban to fight for gender-balance in her country of Pakistan. At the tender age of 11 years, she bravely began to address the inequality of education, questioning why a female’s rights to education were being snatched away? Malala fought for the balance of girls being able to attend school to receive an education with their male peers then and is still fighting for balance.
Today, many women courageously follow Malala’s footsteps in pursuit to a gender-balanced world. Angelique Kidjo is one of many at Malala’s flanks. Miss Kidjo is currently a musician, a UNICEF International Goodwill Ambassador, as well as the founder of the Botanga Foundation. “Batonga works to improve school infrastructure, increase enrollment, grant scholarships, provide in-kind support and micro loans for scholars’ families, cultivate mentoring and tutoring programs, and advocate for community awareness of the value of education for girls.”
Our Microenterprise program was established to financially assist women all around the world. We provide financial assistance and training to women in humble communities, providing them the resources needed to rebuild their community, resulting in an economically thriving environment to all residing.
Just like the young brave activists, Malala and Angelique, we strive to empower women through our Feminine Hygiene Program. This program was established to make sure that women are provided the education and resources needed to succeed. We teach the importance of feminine and maternal hygiene in support of a healthy clean environment for young girls to stay in school. We also provide hygiene kits exclusively created for women.
What’s in a Women’s Hygiene Kit?
Our Clean the World Women’s Hygiene Kit includes, a bar of soap, shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush, toothpaste, a washcloth, 2 sanitary napkins as well as an inspirational notecard.
Thank you to all who have fought and are still fighting for Balance! There are many strong women all around the world who have ample knowledge and innovativeness to bestow upon us. Clean the World supports #BalanceforBetter with our Microenterprise program and Feminine Hygiene Program. To contribute to our mission of providing the education and resources needed for women to live a healthy and stable life, all around the world, visit The WASH Foundation.
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