Joint project to help reduce menstruation-related school absenteeism launched



Lack of access to sanitary supplies during menstruation drastically increases school absenteeism, whilst inadequate reproductive health education can have even more devastating consequences.

In Ghana, girls and young women in parts of the country face obstacles of caring for themselves during menstruation – girls fall behind or drop out of school completely.

To provide support for underprivileged girls in Ghana to pursue their education, a joint partnership project has been announced in Kumasi to provide sanitary supplies and health-related educational materials to 1,000 junior school girls over the next 6 months.

The three partners for the project include Procter & Gamble SSA (Sub-Saharan Africa Markets), World of Children Award and EPF Educational Empowerment Initiative, a Ghanaian organization founded by Winnifred Selby, 2015 World of Children Youth Honoree.

32866ea6 5571 4bb6 9eaa 5269e94856b1This is P&G’s first corporate citizenship initiative in Ghana, in line with its new Commitment to Action announced at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting in September 2015, to help girls and women around the globe build confidence.

“Empowering the female child is multifaceted and one of the most powerful platforms to positively change our society,” said Khululiwe Mabaso, P&G’s Director of Communications for Sub-Saharan Africa. “Beyond the powerful impact this initiative will have on the lives of vulnerable Ghanaian females, we are optimistic that this will transverse all over Africa enabling an environment that positively embraces and uplifts the female African child.”

It is broadly estimated that as many as 30 million girls globally lack access to proper sanitation during menstruation.

Through P&G’s ‘Always School Programme’, over 1.2 million girls receive puberty and hygiene education from professional nurses annually.

Selby is thrilled with the joint project and its potential to expand the scope of her current programs.

“Girls can face so many problems in Ghana today. Winning the World of Children Award and entering into this relationship with P&G shows that EPF’s work – and these girls – are truly important to the world. I cannot wait to share the news with them,” she said.

P&G has already made significant impact with campaigns like the Always #LikeAGirl campaign, which elicited an incredibly positive global response.

Harry Leibowitz, Co-Founder of World of Children Award, describes the reasoning behind the three-way project as an opportunity “to bring a largely taboo subject out of the shadows”.

He said “with P&G’s new commitment and past work, Selby’s work with girls in her native Ghana, and World of Children Award in a position to connect the two, the project just makes sense. We’re honored to be an integral part of this incredibly important program designed to help girls remain in school.”


Story by Kofi Adu Domfeh | | Ghana

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