BRA trains adolescents to recycle sanitary napkins
Monte Plata, Dominican Rep.- Adolescents from this province will be instructed from next February with techniques on the elaboration, use, recycling and proper conservation of sanitary napkins during their menstruation period, within the framework of the project “Supporting girls in education and management of health and menstrual hygiene,” which implements the BRA Women’s Empowerment Initiative.
This program seeks to respond to the results of a study conducted in 2021 by Batey Relief Alliance (BRA), in collaboration with the School of Public Health of the University of Minnesota, which detected that about 20% of young women in high schools in the bateyes and sugar communities of Monte Plata lose between 2 and 3 days of school per month when they have menstruation due to the lack of access to an item as basic as sanitary pads.
The president of the board of directors of BRA Dominicana, Dr. Togarma Rodríguez said: “this situation is so entrenched that not only girls understand that it is best to stay at home during those days, but also their male peers see it as an alternative.
When boys were asked whether or not girls should stay at home during their period, more than 65.2% answered in the affirmative.”
He added that this forced absence of girls to schools due to the lack of sanitary pads clearly damages their school performance, which puts them at a disadvantage compared to their male counterpart.
Another aspect of the problem that Dr. Rodríguez focused on is that with only a single income in the household to support an average family of four, the scarce amount of money in these impoverished and vulnerable communities is often not enough to sustain the basic needs of food and housing, so buying disposable sanitary napkins becomes a luxury that few minors can afford.