Home Opinion Development Advocate Calls for Investment to End Period Poverty

Development Advocate Calls for Investment to End Period Poverty

Ophelia allotey
Ophelia allotey

“…When Women’s Rights are under attack, we fight back.” Kamara Harris.

It is disheartening to acknowledge that women continue to face unfair treatment and injustices on various fronts. On this remarkable day, I was greeted with a disclaimer, one targeted at destroying the credibility of a woman and an initiative purposed to serve young girls and women.

Today, we celebrate International Women’s Day worldwide, under the theme ‘Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress‘ which highlights the importance of gender equality, in creating prosperous economies and safe spaces for women to thrive. But how do we create such a promising future when young girls are missing school because they lack access to hygienic sanitary products and conditions?

The need for investment in the future of women to bridge the gender gap led to the ‘Pad a Girl Campaign’ an initiative purposed to provide sanitary pads to girls in school, so they don’t miss out on their education by Ms. Ophelia Allotey then Executive Assistant and Advocate with the Street Children Empowerment Foundation, till December 2023.

An initiative which faced strict opposition because the organization that ‘believes’ in women will not invest in advocacy on sanitary products aimed at bringing comfort to the girls it serves. we don’t have budget for it” said the Executive Director, thus you need to fundraise, and yes, I did fundraise to secure these menstrual hygiene products for my girls.

Today, the organization that initiated me into personal fundraising and took pride in my initiative, is claiming ownership of the initiative and throwing the reputation of the dream-bearer into public disrepute.

I wish to state that, I still believe that our young girls deserve to menstruate in dignity and deserve to stay in school to access education just like their male counterparts.

Our young girls need not to trade sex for sanitary pads, nor use improvised items to manage their periods. Menstrual hygiene is Empowerment and this is what Ophelia Allotey stands for. I will advocate for free sanitary pads and hygiene products for vulnerable girls in our communities whether I work with an organization or not.

The girls at SCEF will forever remember me and be grateful for this initiative which enabled them to menstruate in confidence and boosted their self-esteem. Though short lived at SCEF, the name Ophelia Allotey is indelibly written in the history and achievements of the organization, as long as Communications and Advocacy is concerned.

I am a proud Ambassador of The Pad Project and will continue with my sanitary pad advocacy till period poverty becomes a thing of the past. As a woman, I know such limitations are bound to happen but am sorry to disappoint you Sir, because I belong to a generation where women are of valor. A generation who have seen their predecessors fight their way through stern masculinity and have lifted their victory flags. I belong to a generation that believes in Sisterhood and considers men as allies for change and Development. I do not have any reason to fail because I have a dream, driven by passion to succeed and become a reliable voice in the fight against period poverty and gender equality.

The name Ophelia Allotey remains credible and my dedication to this cause is unwavering. I call on the general public to support the ‘Pad a Girl for the Quarter Campaign’ and touch the lives of these vulnerable young girls. You can reach me on 0545058124 and email me at ophelia.shika@gmail.com.

Menstruation is not just a human rights issue but a public health concern. Let’s Invest to END Period Poverty Now!!!

Happy International Women’s Day to all women who are impacting lives and brightening their little corners.

Writer: Ophelia Allotey

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