Though all residents face WASH issues, it is necessary to look at the situation through the lens of gender, as well. In Tanzania, female hygiene has traditionally been a taboo subject, and most schools lack adequate facilities for young women. Without access to proper sanitary materials and fearing ridicule for bloodstains on their skirts, many girls miss school during menstruation. Lower attendance rates severely limit academic potential and contribute to a cycle of disempowerment. Maji Safe Group, through our work of promoting public health for this community, seeks to establish a more comprehensive approach to menstrual hygiene management in Tanzania. We lift the stigma around female hygiene to empower girls and help them reach their full academic potential and become strong leaders.
Female Hygiene Groups
Young women, ages 11-18, meet with CHEs in after-school groups to learn about female hygiene, health, and puberty. All groups, as well as girls from surrounding communities, are also invited to attend Saturday meetings at the MSG office. Meetings provide young women with support through our menstrual hygiene management in Tanzania, as well as a safe space to:
Learn about female health
Engage in peer-to-peer education
Participants also receive reusable sanitary products to promote proper hygiene and prevent absences from school. MSG strives to offer the communities we work in several different options such as reusable pads and menstrual cups.
Together Women Rise Community
Together Women Rise is a powerful community of women and allies dedicated to achieving global gender equality. They have hundreds of local chapters across the U.S. where members learn about and advocate for gender equality issues, give grants to organizations that empower women and girls in low-income countries, and build a community to forge meaningful connections that increase our strength and collective impact.
Every woman deserves the fundamental human right to live freely and pursue her dreams.
We believe that gender equality is achievable, and that determined women together in a community can achieve anything.
We know big changes are possible when we see the innovative, women-led work that’s making a difference in countries all over the world.
The Decent Girl Competition
Group leaders and participants host an annual Decent Girl competition. The entire community is invited to attend to learn about female health issues via songs, dances, and skits. Prominent community members judge the event and select a winner based on her ability to teach peers and the community about:
The winner of the Decent Girl competition is honored and awarded school supplies and feminine hygiene products. The Decent Girl competition, dinners, and group meetings instill confidence in young women and promote understanding throughout the community. Now, topics of female health are becoming less stigmatized in the Rorya District, and girls are realizing their full potential as students and young leaders.
Influencing Menstrual Hygiene Management in Tanzania (MHM)
MSG’s Female Hygiene Education Program is one of the biggest in the Lake Victoria Zone of Tanzania and is recognized as a leader in menstrual hygiene management in Tanzania (MHM) education. We continue to expand awareness and education on this vital subject. As a result, MSG has become a prominent member of the MHM Task Force in Tanzania and often collaborates with national research initiatives with partners like UNICEF, the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR), and the University of Dar es Salaam. MSG has also been featured in MHM films made in Tanzania and is proud to bring the interests of MHM stakeholders in the Lake Zone to national forums. We hope to continue contributing to the significant progress the MHM sector is seeing in Tanzania.