The inability to attend classes for a certain number of days per month and poor decision making that young females
from the rural areas experience due the lack of menstrual hygiene education and products will soon be ancient history
for girls attending school in the rural areas of Eswatini.
BAWSS foundation has expressed deep commitment in empowering the girl child from grassroots.
ENYC, Spar, Letshego and Inyatsi to name a few supported the vision by joining hands with the non-profit organization
to make a difference and contribute to the lives of our fellow sisters in a total number of 33 schools from all four
regions of Eswatini, Manzini (8), Hhohho (9), Lubombo (10) and Shiselweni (6).
It has been brought to the nation’s attention that the drivers of teenage pregnancy in the country include low
education, poverty, low SRH knowledge, gender inequality and limited access to SRH-related services, specifically
family planning according to The National Youth Policy of 2020.
The Eswatini State of The Youth Report states that only 55% of women are fully empowered to make choices over health
care, contraception and the ability to say yes or no to sex. What about the remaining 45 per cent?
The unexpected prevailing covid-19 pandemic struck the world socially, politically, technologically as well as
economically. It is a well-known fact that worldwide we are still struggling to get back on our feet.
Stores recovering mechanism, economically is setting high prices on items we need on a daily basis. Sanitary towels
are one of the items with sky rocketing prices and are every woman’s basic need. However it has caught the attention of BAWSS
foundation that while some may be able to afford sanitary pads, it is not the case for the majority of young female students in
the rural areas.
Eswatini National Youth Council (ENYC) one of the organizations supporting the “Every girl. Everywhere” dream, is a coordinating
body for all youth programs mandated by the Government of Eswatini. The organization has a number of mandates however the one of
promoting and supporting youth empowerment programmes and activities in collaboration with partners and stakeholders binds the
organization to BAWSS. Therefore ENYC saw it fit to partner with BAWSS in the pad drive campaign as it is an activity that
aligns with the organization’s mandate.
ENYC supported the foundation’s idea by transporting the BAWSS representatives from point A to B delivering sanitary
towels and menstrual education to the girls in. Not only that but also with documenting the event and posting it on
social media for awareness and attracting the desired audience.
According to a testimony by a teacher in one of the schools it was discovered that a large group of girls miss a number
of classes per month as a result of menstruation. A student seconded her teacher by adding that they find themselves using
tissue and other unhygienic items to hide the situation. The girls expressed sincere gratitude and excitement for the initiative
by BAWSS in posing and clapping in happy pictures.