The 2017 Fema Girl Power Team And The Red Agenda
Femina Hip launched its new Fema Girl Power team, led by Lydia ‘Lyen’ Charles. This team represents girls from different backgrounds, experiences and behaviors. The new Girl Power team will be the voice of all Tanzania girls, address their challenges and join hands together to seek solutions. They will advocate for social, economic and political issues of girls across the country. This team will use different techniques to reach out to the girls and to tackle girls’ issues starting with menstrual hygiene management.
Today, like any other day, millions of girls and women across Tanzania are bleeding. They have their menstruation. This is a natural and normal process connected to the reproduction of life. However, there is a lot of embarrassment, shame and taboos around menstruation and most people find it difficult to talk about - so silence prevails! Girls tend to stay home from school as their menstrual hygiene needs are ignored, there is often no water for washing, no proper toilets, no privacy for changing and no emergency sanitary pads. Girls struggle to manage their hygiene, falling behind on schoolwork if they have to stay home. Over time, menstruation can have an effect on girls’ education and can push them to drop out altogether. It’s time for a change! Femina Hip is supporting girls to stay confident as they manage and take control of their menstrual hygiene
“Femina Hip as well as the new Fema Girl Power team,
believe we have to work together, to open up and
discuss periods, pain, basic hygiene and the many
taboos surrounding menstruation, involving teachers,
parents, even boys,” says Lydia Charles.
Therefore Femina Hip launched its Red Agenda, a ‘to do list’ of things that must be put in place for girls to manage their periods successfully. As we marked the international menstrual hygiene day, this was the perfect time to do that. Gathered at the press launch were different like-minded organisations and companies that are all contributing in different ways to improving girls’ menstrual hygiene management. In additional to the Girl Power team, Hyasintha was present. She is a social entrepreneur and passionate advocate for menstrual hygiene as well as the founder of Kasole Secrets. She has been instrumental, working with the Fema Team to develop the Red Agenda. She has organized the international menstrual day in Tanzania for two consecutive years and is quite impressive in her dedication to the topic. Also with us was Sauda Simba, one of our Femina Hip board members. She represented Kays Hygiene Products who have sponsored an essay competition in the new Red Agenda issue of Fema. Four girl winners will be awarded with a years worth of Kays sanitary pads!
Left: Members of the Girl Power Team, Zauja and Jennifer as well as Hyasintha, with Lydia the leader of the Girl Power Team. Finally Sauda Simba, and lastly Sekela and Asha also members of the Girl Power Team. Right: Fema magazine issue on menstrual hygiene, Red agenda