Menstrual Health Equity for Women in Lebanon

by Days for Girls International
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Menstrual Health Equity for Women in Lebanon
Menstrual Health Equity for Women in Lebanon
Menstrual Health Equity for Women in Lebanon
Menstrual Health Equity for Women in Lebanon
Menstrual Health Equity for Women in Lebanon
Menstrual Health Equity for Women in Lebanon
Menstrual Health Equity for Women in Lebanon
Menstrual Health Equity for Women in Lebanon
Menstrual Health Equity for Women in Lebanon
Menstrual Health Equity for Women in Lebanon
Menstrual Health Equity for Women in Lebanon
Menstrual Health Equity for Women in Lebanon
Menstrual Health Equity for Women in Lebanon
Menstrual Health Equity for Women in Lebanon
Menstrual Health Equity for Women in Lebanon
Menstrual Health Equity for Women in Lebanon
Menstrual Health Equity for Women in Lebanon
Menstrual Health Equity for Women in Lebanon
Menstrual Health Equity for Women in Lebanon

Days for Girls continues to reach women and girls in Lebanon with menstrual health products and education. In November, Lebanon Enterprises were happy to receive an order from Concern Worldwide for 150 DfG Kits for distribution in their programs. The Enterprises produced the Kits and delivered this order successfully, enabling more women and girls to have what they need to manage their periods with dignity and health.

At present, the Lebanon Enterprises are hard at work producing another 350 Kits for an order generously sponsored by a donor. These Kits will be distributed to Syrian refugee women and girls and Lebanese women and girls in the coming months. Thank you for your generous support of Days for Girls in Lebanon as we turn periods into pathways.

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On August 26, 2022, researchers at the University of Beirut published a new study on menstrual health challenges in Lebanon during the severe economic crisis that has impacted the country over the past two years. Researchers interviewed stakeholders from the government, healthcare and nonprofit sectors to understand women’s menstrual health experiences. The study identified several specific ways that the economic crisis has impacted menstrual health management:

  • A lack of Ministry of Health budget allocation towards women's health means that period products have not been subsidized in the same way that other hygiene-related products have (like razor blades).
  • There is only one local producer of pads in Lebanon, and the raw materials used to make those pads are currently not subsidized. As a result, locally produced pads are as expensive as imported brands.
  • New challenges of water scarcity have impacted the ability of women and girls to properly use reusable products like cups or washable pads.

Interviewees shared that the result of these challenges has been significant:

  • Women are resorting to the use of makeshift products (such as old clothes or cotton).
  • Women and girls experience anxiety and shame about not having products and fear of stigmatization due to leakage.
  • Women and girls are missing days of school and work when they do not have products to manage blood flow and need to stay at home.
  • Women and girls are experiencing skin and genital infection from makeshift products or use of disposable products for longer than recommended, in order to stretch finances.

Days for Girls Lebanon is responding to these challenges among both Lebanese and refugee communities, working to ensure that women and girls in Lebanon are supported in managing their periods with safety, health, and dignity.

Recently, the DfG Lebanon team provided DfG washable pad kits and comprehensive menstrual health education to 40 Syrian refugee women and girls in Damour – about 20 km south of Beirut. Our partner who sponsored this distribution reported, “What we were hearing from the young girls and ladies that came for the teaching was that they did not have any education on their bodies and how beautiful it is to be a woman. After the teaching we were able to have the girls make menstrual bracelets that were so well received to help them understand how the menstrual cycle works day by day. Thank you for what you do for Days for Girls. It is very important to spread the news of this program and reach out to more girls with this teaching."

In total, DfG Lebanon has reached 2,100 women and girls this year. This would not have been possible without the generous contributions of our amazing donors. Thank you for your part in helping to insure dignity for women and girls in Lebanon.

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Thank you for your generous donations to Days for Girls’ work of bringing menstrual equity to women and girls in Lebanon. The current need for menstrual health solutions in Lebanon is great. UNICEF Lebanon recently reported that 87% of women in the country have changed their purchasing habits of menstrual supplies due to economic concerns, 76% of women are finding it difficult to even access menstrual supplies, and many simply cannot afford disposables. When faced with the choice of buying food for their families or period products for themselves, women are choosing to feed their families. With your donated funds and the help of amazing partners, we are doing all we can to fill this gap and ensure that as many women and girls as possible can have menstrual dignity. 

Recently, our three Lebanon Social Enterprises joined forces and merged into one powerful group of advocates for girls. Our new “Super” Enterprise is located in North Akkar. In collaboration, our entrepreneurs are working hard to fill a number of important orders for menstrual Kits in the region. The results of their hard work include:

  • A completed order of 1000 Kits for Marsa Sexual Health Centre;
  • A completed order of 300 Kits for Concern Worldwide;
  • A completed order of 740 Kits for two local organizations;
  • Collaborating with a university in the United Kingdom for a study on washable pads in Lebanon, and filling an order of 20 washable pads for their research preparation.

The feedback we receive from those using our pads is that they work! Lasting up to 3 years, our washable pads give women and girls peace of mind, confidence and security - qualities particularly important to those living in politically and economically uncertain communities.

Thank you for your part in bringing dignity to women and girls in Lebanon.

For more information, follow us on Facebook or Instagram: @DaysforGirlsLebanon

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You are playing an essential role in providing menstrual dignity for vulnerable refugees in Lebanon. Using your generous funds through Days for Girls’ Menstrual Health Equity for Women in Lebanon project through GlobalGiving, we are ensuring that women and girls have the tools they need to manage their menstruation while attending school and providing for their families. The following are our most recent advancements in menstrual equity in Lebanon.

  • In 2021, DfG Lebanon seamstresses produced 7,565 DfG Kits, the highest number of locally produced DfG Kits since we began in Lebanon. 
  • We completed our 2021 partnership with UNFPA and SOS Children's Villages Lebanon, producing and packing 5,000 Kits as well as training social workers on the distribution of washable pads. These Kits will be distributed in the coming months.
  • We reached 100 refugees in partnership with German NGO, Hildashaus.
  • We participated in the Jeyetna Menstrual Health festival.
  • We completed a project with ReHope Korea, reaching 700 refugee women and girls.
  • We provided 125 Kits for Kooyrigs, an Armenian humanitarian organization.
  • And, we already have orders for over 1,000 Kits for 2022 and are working on sourcing bulk fabric as the supply chain has become more difficult due to the economic situation in Lebanon.

Without support from our incredible donors, we would not be able to accomplish our goal to provide menstrual equity to those in need in Lebanon. You are essential to this work! Former US First Lady Michele Obama said, "We're in this together. Because these girls are our girls. They are us. They each have the spark of something extraordinary inside of them just like our daughters - and our sons - and their fate is very much our responsibility."

For more on Days for Girl’s global advancements in menstrual equity, see our 2021 Year End Report. Thank you for joining hands and linking arms for women and girls!

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Photo courtesy of Anera
Photo courtesy of Anera

Thank you for your support of menstrual equity for women in Lebanon. Using your funds, we are continuing our outreach in the embattled country. And we have exciting news to report!

First, teaming up with Anera, we recently distributed 2,200 menstrual kits and health education to Palestinian, Syrian, and Lebanese women and girls at the Nahr El Bared Palestinian Refugee Camp, as well as the Akkar region, the city of Halba, the village of Bourkayel, Wadi Al Jamous, and Bebnin. Anera reported, “Many of the young women are initially somewhat skeptical about the idea of washable pads — but they come around to the idea as they learn more about the product and how they provide an effective solution that eliminates monthly costs and lasts years. Older women, on the other hand, are often reminded of the washable cotton cloths that they and their mothers once used, before commercial pads were introduced to the Syrian market.”

Secondly, Khyrieh Al Assad, Days for Girls Lebanon Country Representative recently participated in a panel discussion addressing complications with menstrual dignity in refugee settings during the pandemic. In the discussion, Khyrieh reported findings from a recent survey that showed that 60% of women and girls felt unsafe while changing their menstrual materials. She reported that often multiple refugee families share a single washroom facility (for both males and females) without locks. Women reported that they have lost their sense of privacy during lockdown because men who were unable to work often occupied that shared space. Days for Girls advocacy experts are addressing these infrastructure issues. With donated funds, we are implementing simple retrofits such as designated male and female washrooms, doors that lock, and bright lighting around wash facilities.

Lastly, in September, Days for Girls Lebanon signed a tripartriate partnership with UNFPA Lebanon and SOS Children’s Villages Lebanon to reach a record number of women and girls in Lebanon. Our goal is to reach 5,000 women and girls by the end of the year with tools to handle their periods with dignity and education that will arm them with the knowledge to make informed decisions that will positively impact them for the rest of their lives. 

None of this would have been possible without the generous support of our donors. Thank you for making the well-being, equity, and education of girls a priority. Together, we will reach the goal of a world where periods are never a problem.

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Organization Information

Days for Girls International

Location: Mount Vernon, WA - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @daysforgirls
Project Leader:
Tessa Bryant
Mr. Vernon, Washington United States
$77,590 raised of $130,000 goal
1,220 donations
$52,410 to go
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