Megan White Mukuria is changing lives by helping girls access sanitary pads and sex education.
“You know, for some people you say, girls can’t afford sanitary pads, and actually 10% of girls’ transactional sex is for sanitary pads,” she explained. “And I think everybody can kind of viscerally relate to that and say, oh my gosh that’s unacceptable.”
Mukuria founded ZanaAfrica, a social impact organization providing free menstruation products, sex education, and mentors to girls in Kenya.
Two in three girls don’t have access to regular sanitary pads.
“And in Kenya it’s actually more unequal than the U.S.,” Mukuria said. “Pads and menstrual products simply compete with food, with health care, with buying pens and pencils or paying school fees. And so families literally have to choose: Do they buy sanitary pads for their daughters or do they eat?”
68% of women in the country still can’t afford sanitary pads, which can push them into dangerous situations or cause them to quit school. Mukuria says ZanaAfrica is providing easy access to menstruation products by supplying local Kenyan schoolgirls with free pads, and since 2013, they have reached nearly 50,000 girls. She says she also wants to open up the conversation about menstruation through education.