Journal.

Providing Sanitary Pads for Girls in Pakistan

Providing Sanitary Pads for Girls in Pakistan

Give essential sanitary products to girls in Pakistan today!

Click to donate   (Select Pakistan from the drop down menu)

It all started with a photograph. I was glancing back over pictures sent to me from our partner Christina in Pakistan and this one particular photograph caught my attention.  A group of women, standing, holding sanitary products like trophies. It struck me how much we take for granted the accessibility of such products, simply nipping down to our local shop or throwing a pack or two into our trolley when doing the weekly shop. When would a photograph like that ever happen here? I enquired about the picture and it really opened my eyes to the poverty and extreme hardship women in Pakistan endure.

A remote rural village in South-East Pakistan is home to 39 women and their children. Seeking work, they become enslaved under unforgiving masters, working tirelessly in their fields, their wages simply straw for housing and wheat flour. When Christina asked one lady how she dealt with her monthly cycle she replied, “Nothing, we have no money to buy these items.” She added further, “Who wants to feel filthy and dirty? Doesn’t everyone want to be clean and respectable? No-one has respect for us, we are treated like animals, we face harassment, we are neglected and sexually abused by our masters, they call on us anytime they want. Often we think we are better to die than to continue living in this sexually abused and filthy life.”

*Menstrual blood is the only source of blood that is not traumatically induced, yet it remains the most hidden blood - rarely spoken of and almost never seen.

*Periods are a major taboo in rural areas of Pakistan - it is estimated that less than a fifth of women use sanitary products. 

*79% of Pakistani women do not manage their menstruation in a hygienic way.

*Half of young Pakistan women don’t know anything about menstruation until their periods start.

 

This is not only about the issue of sanitary products, but also forced labour, poverty, rape, and exploitation. Despite the fact that slavery is prohibited worldwide, it still exists today. Many of its victims are children.

Women are still banished into dark rooms because of impurity” and other taboos attached to menstruation. Girls are not allowed to sit with family members and are prevented from attending school as they are unable to afford pads. Old clothes, rags, socks, leaves and even ashes form means of managing the blood, leading to infections and diseases of which these girls and women are unaware.

44% of girls have no access to basic menstrual hygiene at home, their workplace or school, and half of young Pakistan women don’t know anything about menstruation until their periods start. This is considered a dirty or shameful phase and so discussion of it is avoided. Education about reproductive health, menstrual phenomenon and its hygienic management are non-existent.

39 women seems so insignificant a number when we 40 million remain enslaved today. The lack of menstrual products appears a minor issue compared to exploitation and slavery, but when I started Hope and Light I vowed to help - to reach out and show women they are worthy, valued, loved and worth so much more. I vowed to start somewhere - no matter how insignificant that help might be.

We want women to grow in strength and dignity, finding freedom and hope in Him along the way. Christina our partner says, We always have hope that God will open the door in His own timing and find help for these women. I left this village with many questions, thoughts and obviously a heart to make a difference in the lives of the very deprived and most needy women in that region.”

So, where do we start? How can you help? We want to make menstrual education accessible to underprivileged women and provide them with access to sanitary products so that they can have safe and healthy periods with confidence and dignity. This small change will make a significant difference to each of these women, and a small gift to purchase underwear and sanitary products shows that we as women care and that there is Hope even in the darkest of places.

Please Give Now to give essential sanitary products to girls in Pakistan. 

Click to donate    (Select Pakistan from the drop down menu)

Many thanks for your continued support!

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