Women get together to help the girl-child

By Rosalia David

ECO Sanitary Trading, a wholly Namibian-owned manufacturer of disposable and re-usable sanitary pads, called Perfect Fit, held a female power event recently to raise awareness of the importance of keeping the girl-child in school.

The gathering, which took place at an upmarket restaurant in Windhoek, saw many professional women from different walks of life gather to support and discuss relevant health topics in support of the initiative to improve the wellbeing of women and young girls.

Medical doctor Getrude Chitongo-Tembo spoke about the functions of the reproductive system and touched on common topics, such as menstruation and menopause, and further urged teenagers to consult their doctors when they fail to menstruate on time.

“We always encourage people to go for checkups at all times, because some people get their menstruation early, while others get them at an early stage. It differs from person to person but it is always important to know your menstrual cycle dates because menstruation can be delayed for many reasons,” she said.

She added that women need to go for Pap smear annually to identify cellular changes in the cervix, which could be caused by Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).

Another speaker  S. Groeneveld, who is also passionate about girl-child projects, supported Dr Tembo’s comment, saying that it is indeed important that women prioritise their wellbeing. She further touched on the topic of girls from disadvantaged groups who stay away from school due to the lack of sanitary pads, while complimenting Eco Sanitary Trading for their initiative.

“I am speaking from my own personal experience, where I bumped into a young girl in a shop, she kept walking up and down in the shop and I had to ask what was wrong. I realized she wanted pads but couldn’t afford them,” she said.

According to the event organisers, it was designed to benefit the attendees and create networks to encourage women to work together, partaking and driving this cause forward to keep the girl-child in school. The aim was to raise awareness, inspire and empower women and to make it an annual event.

With the proceeds from the event, Eco Sanitary Trading will this year donate sanitary pads to underprivileged schoolgirls  in a selected region of Namibia.

“From us, as Eco Sanitary Trading, we would like to express our sincere gratitude to the ladies who came out for the event. This would not have been possible without our various sponsors who supported this important cause and, of course, our speakers of the day, and other service providers who made this a successful and memorable women’s event.

“Raising awareness and sparking an interest in such an inspiring cause is what we hope to showcase and we hope those in attendance are able to carry it forward. And we also intend to do this every year. We are our sisters’ keepers. Thanks once again to all who were involved in whatever way.”

Eco Sanitary Trading is the brainchild of local female entrepreneur, Naomi Kefas.