Monday, 9 June 2014

She CAN - The Worst Ever Period

As ActionAid begins the final phase of their She CAN campaign, they reach into the element of our lives, our lives in the UK, which are taken foregranted, kept private, to emphasise how the dual effects of violence and poverty impact the lives of so many, too many, women and girls.

ActionAid hopes through this campaign, this fundraising effort, that we can support women and girls, whose lives are so different to those of us living in the UK.
What do women and girls generally take foregranted in the UK?

Uh oh, standback for the uncomfortable.

Periods.

Something that naturally affect most women are one of the last taboos – we find it hard enough to speak about them in the UK where we have so much at our finger tips.

Proving the point, ActionAid conducted a survey in the UK about how women here would feel about being caught out without sanitary products.
Guess what? Almost 50% would call in sick if this happened.

Why did ActionAid do this survey?

It’s linked to an initiative which urges people to consider how a lack of products such as tampons and sanitary towels can have a dramatic effect on women and girls in refugee camps ActionAid supports.

For women and girls who already have limited access essentials such as water and soap and have often travelled long distances to reach safety – having fled quickly.
ActionAid believe all women deserve to have their basic needs met and can feel that they have their dignity intact whatever their situation which is why this seemingly insignificant item to us here in the UK is in the pack which ActionAid gives to girls and women helped in camps.

Fear of visible stains (50%) and the feeling of being unclean (48%) were felt to be amongst some of the worst impacts, while almost one in four (23%) British women believe the worst time to get a period would be when travelling long distances.

These fears become even more significant with the finding that almost half of British women think that stomach cramps (47%) and heavy bleeding (45%) are among the worst things about having a period.

I know how uncomfortable I have felt about having periods when there are important meetings, when I have long car journeys ahead.
I have uncomfortable memories about periods in school, the daunting aspect of PE and swimming lessons.
And yet, these are, as that hash tag suggests #firstworldproblems
As Jane Moyo from ActionAid says:
“Nearly half of working British women feel it would be so difficult to go without tampons and sanitary towels during their period, that they wouldn’t be able to cope going to work.”

What if you need to make that escape, that escape that would protect you and your family?
If your daughter was fleeing to a refugee camp, in horrific circumstances.

The knowledge that dignity is protected.
That whilst everything else in your life is changing.
That during this most difficult time, you and your daughter might receive a pack which ensures one additional stress is avoided.

And so, with the UK government doubling all donations to the She CAN appeal, there hasn’t been a more urgent time to donate so ActionAid can make twice the difference to help women and girls escape poverty.

So, please if you can, if you can give what you can afford, and take advantage of the UK Government doubling all donations, please make the difference to so many lives, and help make some of our "take foregranteds'" and make them more realistic to all women and girls.

If you can't afford the cash right now, please use your voice, please consider tweeting or posting on Facebook to raise awareness.
Here are a couple of examples you could use:

Imagine you’re in a refugee camp – you left home with almost nothing. Then you get your period… http://Po.st/M1m8qA #SheCAN

Imagine: You're on your period in a refugee camp. There's no water, soap or sanitary items po.st/M1m8qA via @ActionAidUK #SheCAN

Help a female refugee. @ActionAIdUK is looking for £ to distribute sanitary items to women in refugee camps Po.st/M1m8qA #SheCAN

Thank you x

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