Period Poverty

Avon Healthcare Limited has reinforced its commitment to promoting healthy living by donating sanitary products to 500 underprivileged schoolgirls in Lagos in honour of World Menstrual Hygiene Day, celebrated globally today. This initiative was part of a community outreach program held at Bright Achiever’s School in Bariga, Lagos, and also marked the end of their #PurpleLipsChallenge, a campaign celebrating women and raising awareness about menstrual hygiene and period poverty.

Launched in 2019, the #PurpleLipsChallenge encouraged women to share photos of themselves wearing purple lipstick on social media. For every photo posted, Avon HMO pledged to provide a schoolgirl with reusable sanitary products. The campaign ended in the distribution of sanitary products to girls at Unity High School in Oshodi and Gaskia College in Ijora Badia, Lagos.

This year’s campaign, like the one in 2019, gained local and international support, attracting participants from Nigeria, London, Texas, Abu Dhabi & Ontario. A key driver of this success was Avon HMO’s collaboration with Safety for Every Girl, an NGO focused on eradicating period poverty and advancing menstrual equity in Nigeria. Additionally, leading organizations such as Heirs EnergiesUnited Capital Asset Management Plc., Afriland Properties, and Avon Medical Practice lent their support.

Also Read: BusinessDay (June 2024): Avon HMO Conducts CSR Outreach, Donates Free Sanitary Kits to Underprivileged Schoolgirls in Lagos

Beyond providing sanitary kits, Avon HMO empowered the girls by providing education on managing menstrual hygiene with dignity. This was done through health talks and practical demonstrations where they showed the girls how to properly use the sanitary kits.

Period poverty remains a substantial barrier to education for many girls in Nigeria. According to UNESCO, one in ten girls in Sub-Saharan Africa misses school during their menstrual cycle, potentially losing up to 20% of the school year. This interruption not only hampers their academic progress but also limits their future prospects.

Adesimbo Ukiri, CEO of Avon HMO, highlighted the significance of the initiative, citing economic challenges and rising costs that make essential goods inaccessible for many Nigerians. “The inability to afford personal hygiene products can significantly hinder a girl’s education and overall well-being, affecting their long-term development and potential to make meaningful contributions to society. Through this initiative, we aim to ensure that girls can remain in school throughout the academic year, helping to create a future where women and men can equally contribute to society,” she said.

By fostering partnerships between the private sector and NGOs, more girls can stay in school year-round, attaining the same educational opportunities as boys. Empowered girls become empowered women, and when both women and men have the necessary tools, they can actively contribute to building a more inclusive and thriving society.

First published in Vanguard

Leave a comment