Context: Why we do this work

Why do this?

Investing in girls' education not only unlocks their potential but also breaks the cycle of poverty and disadvantage (World Vision).

In Latin America, 43% of menstruating students skip school due to menstrual challenges, including poverty and stigma (World Bank). Menstrual poverty, inadequate menstrual management, and stigma diminish the educational experience, leading to increased absenteeism.

Because of the taboo of menstruation, girls, adolescents, and women, experience contexts of silence, violence, and discrimination (UN, 2019), which negatively affects their sexual and reproductive health, self-esteem, autonomy in decision-making regarding their bodies and sexuality (Sommer et al., 2015) and access to educational and employment opportunities (Unicef, 2020).

These contexts generate and increase two problems of global impact that Wise Girls address directly; Menstrual Poverty, which causes school absenteeism of girls and adolescents, and Menstrual Stigma which causes fewer opportunities in significant areas:

  1. Difficulties in going through menarche and puberty.
  2. Poor school performance due to lack of conditions for optimal menstrual management.
  3. Behavioral limitations and forced exclusion from public spaces.
  4. Limitations in development and well-being due to menstrual health problems.
  5. Lesser social valuation of girls, adolescents, and women.
  6. Exposure to various types of violence and the violation of human rights.
  7. Deepening of the gender gap.

In addition to the effects of the lack of conditions to ensure dignity and menstrual health, adolescent pregnancy also contributes to school dropout. Latin America has the second highest rate in the world (Pan American Health Organization).

Wise Girls addresses the undeniable need for menstrual education and access to menstrual products.

We work to break down taboos and beliefs that hinder the menstrual experience by teaching girls about their bodies and their cycles; and enabling them to manage their periods with health, dignity, and safety, as well as impacting communities by raising awareness about girls' health, well-being, and human rights.

Menstruation is not a problem when it is understood. These goals are vital for girls and young women's active participation in school and life. Wise Girls envisions supportive communities that nurture and care for girls' dreams and futures.

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