Family Impact Celebrates Womanhood This International Women’s Day

Family Impact celebrates women by empowering them in the seemingly small ways that have the greatest of impacts. In the organisation’s goal to build families and transform communities the role of a woman is invaluable.

Sanitation and hygiene is very important to the general wellbeing of women, girls and their families. Many governments overlook the needs of women in this regard, more so during times of economic hardship. Statistics show that more than half of teenage girls in Zimbabwe do not have access to sanitary wear, 62% of girls in rural areas use leaves or rags during menstruation and 20 percent of girls miss lessons due to period pains (read more here). All this means many girls are missing close to 20% of their schooling year, impacting on the quality of education they receive. Zimbabwe has also suffered much economic hardship, which has made sanitary wear unavailable or unaffordable for many women and girls.

Family Impact recognised the Zimbabwean women’s plight. This saw the successful launching of a Women’s Health training program in Matobo and Insiza Districts outside Bulawayo, funded by our partner TEAR Australia. This program provides women and girls with comprehensive information on sexual and reproductive health, and includes training in making reusable sanitary pads. The pads are made out of locally sourced fabric, which can be used washed, ironed and reused month after month. When used properly they are viable, hygienic and economic solutions.

Sarudzai Chapo is one woman who benefited from this training program. She completed the program and graduated as a trainer in 2014. She has since trained approximately 22 women and is in the process of training more. In an interview, Chapo recounted the days before the training when women and girls felt self-conscious as they used leaves, newspapers and various rags. She spoke of the loss of dignity women endured during that time. Many women were struggling and suffering in silence every month.

The Women’s Health Program allows women to be the women they were created to be: women who are confident, capable and free. These are the women Family Impact remembers and celebrates this International Women’s Day.

One of the women Family Impact has trained in sexual and reproductive health (in orange) is now training others in her community.

One of the women Family Impact has trained in sexual and reproductive health (in orange) is now training others in her community.