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Women's Health across the developing world.

I'm on holiday this week so rather than the usual blog I want to tell you about a charity I like.

Sometimes I'm asked to give talks and rather than claim expenses or payments I like to offer the money to charity. I always recommend Femme International and today I thought I'd share it with you just in case you've never heard of it.

Firstly, this is a wummin's charity about wummin's things so if you're a squeamish bloke then hand £20 to your nearest female and forward them this article. They'll do the rest.

Here is a little about Femme International's goals (copied from their website):

Currently, Femme International is one of the only NGOs dedicated to menstrual health and hygiene education, and the only organization promoting menstrual cups as a sustainable solution. Effective menstrual management results in increased rates of school attendance among girls, lower instances of reproductive infection and disease, and reduced engagements in prostitution. Accessibility to accurate and relevant information allows women and girls to understand and manage their reproductive health and gradually lift the restrictions and stigmas associated with menstruation.

We may think that a luxury tax on sanitary products is steep but in Kenya a pack of 8 sanitary pads costs a little less than an unskilled worker's daily wage. Many girls in developing countries either cannot or will not be allowed to attend school during their period. Infections are common due to the use of newspaper or even tree bark to absorb menstrual flow and lack of education about menstruation leads many girls to feel confused and ashamed of their bodies. Effectively, 25% of girls' education across the developing world is hampered by their periods.

Femme International supply silicone menstrual cups which are reusable, last for up to 15 years and only need to be changed twice a day. This means girls can attend school without anyone knowing that they have their period at all. In addition, they supply a range of learning packs to help remove the shame and stigma surrounding menstruation.

Even for women it's an icky subject and it's definitely not a problem that your average British teen is going to face. I think that's why it's both so shocking and so under represented. If this article has affected you, why not consider this charity and allow girls across the world to Enjoy Good Health every month?

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