Removing padding from sanitary problem
A MORE targeted approach is needed to ensure that sanitary towels are distributed to those who desperately need them.
The Community Chest conducted a survey at 10 schools around Cape Town and found most of the girls (88.6%) did not miss school during their periods. The survey investigated patterns of absenteeism in the schools due to menstruation and other sexual education and feminine health issues.
The findings have been included in the Global Philanthropy Data Charter, created by the Worldwide Initiative for Grant-making Support, which aims to instil a culture of data gathering “to empirically inform philanthropy efforts”.
Community Chest spokesperson Joan Daries said they carried out the survey after receiving a “spontaneous” donation of sanitary pads.
“We know it is a problem for some girls and it’s a problem that has got widespread support, but there is no real information driving sanitary drives. There is not much research being done.”
She said speaking to the girls gave a better understanding of issues around access to sanitary pads.
“What the research told us is the issues are a lot more textured than girls not having access. There needs to be proper research done so that the resources can go where they are really needed.”
She said they would like to do an audit of sanitary distribution places. “This is to make sure the solution is directed to the problem, so there is not more money thrown at an issue when it can be used elsewhere.
“We know that often when donations come in they are shoved into warehouses and all kinds of things get into them.”