THE CHALLENGE FOR GIRLS
Teenage girls in Sierra Leone are dropping out of the education system and sporting activities everyday due to the many challenges that they face.
Everyday there are girls starting their periods, meaning that they miss school and do not engage in sporting activities as they do not have clean or appropriate sanitary products. On average, a teenage girl will miss at least 50 days of school every year because of their period.
According to a study by UNICEF in 2012 'In Sierra Leone, UNICEF, in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, examined menstrual hygiene management in schools in six rural districts. The research revealed that while the majority of female students interviewed believe that menstruation is a normal part of growing up, 21.3 per cent report that they miss school when they have their menstrual periods. Nearly one third of girls also reported that they prefer not to stand up in the classroom to answer questions when they have their periods...'
At Girls In Sport, we aim to help educate young girls about their period and provide them with the appropriate sanitary products so that when their period starts, they are prepared. When girls stay in school, they gain the confidence, independence and skills that they need to be able to develop with confidence and without barriers.
Many girls drop out of continued learning and sports completely to carry the burden of caregiving from as early as puberty.
Restricted Access to Land and Property Ownership
Sierra Leone is customarily underpinned by a patrilineal system that unfairly discriminates against women, who tend to take on more traditional domestic roles. There is a strong correlation between restriction to land and ownership rights and pathways to positions of leadership - trends often associated with illiteracy and poor gender-parity.
Girls In Sport cannot provide an answer to FGM (Female Genital Mutilation or 'Female Circumcision'), however we work with children, teenagers and their families to promote equality and gender equity through a holistic approach.
You could help these teenage girls engage in fun sporting activities and finish school. Donate just £5 and you could provide a girl with clean sanitary products.