The closure of stores and public transport, rising costs and increasing economic uncertainty due to COVID-19 measures are all putting menstrual hygiene supplies out of reach for those in poverty in Somalia. Sanitary pads are expensive and often inaccessible and some girls resort to managing their periods with pieces of rags or paper which are often unhygienic and uncomfortable causing chafing, urinary tract infections, reproductive tract infections, and other reproductive health problems.
Hawa Feminist Coalition, a local and non-profit organization founded by young feminists with aim of promoting the safety, equality, justice, rights and dignity of young women and girls in Somalia where women bear an unequal brunt of hardships occasioned by poverty, conflict and clan-based culture which promotes strict male hierarchy, has started a campaign titled “Help Your Sister with Sanitary Pad” through the local FM Radios and social media to plea the public to donate sanitary pads for the most vulnerable adolescent girls from the internally displaced people in Bosaso, Puntland, Somalia.
With this campaign, Hawa Feminist Coalition collected 450 sanitary pads and distributed to 225 girls from the internally displaced people in Bosaso, Puntland, Somalia. These vulnerable girls who are living in poverty and in cramped camps with limited access to basic services, have now sanitary pads enough for two successive periods.