Sanitation + girls = education + empowerment
Monitoring girls’ attendance at schools after implementing gender-friendly sanitation facilities
In developing countries, menstruation is the number one cause of school absenteeism, ahead of malaria and other diseases – it can cause girls to miss up to 20% of school days, and is a major barrier to empowering women and girls . Menstrual health education and gender-friendly sanitation facilities go a long way towards improving the situation, but we need to monitor to ensure that girls’ attendance in schools picks up after providing menstrual health education/gender-friendly sanitation facilities.
For more information on why this matters for education and development, see http://sanitationupdates.wordpress.com/tag/menstrual-hygiene/ and http://www.wateraid.org/documents/MHM/Menstrual-hygiene-matters-complete-HR.pdf
A text-based app would enable a (girl) class rep to ‘check in’ the number of girls attending school over a period of time, and would enable the NGO to see whether menstrual education and/or gender-friendly facilities improve girls’ school attendance. The results would be fed into a map and would also show trends over time.
The girls would also be able to text to request a visit from the menstrual health education facilititator. The requests would be fed into the same map showing number of requests per area in order to coordinate the facilitator’s schedule and itinerary.
– Increase empowerment and employability of girls and women (in short and long-term)
– Improve attendance and health of girls
– Potential to scale up to other regions in the world (universal problem)