Girls’ Rooms reducing school absence & boosting self-esteem
The girl’s room at Groupe Schoilaire, Muko is self-contained with a bathroom, toilet, bedroom and meeting room where the girls meet with their matrons to discuss any issues especially around sexual reproductive health rights. This and other 30 girls’ rooms have been constructed through funding and funding from the People’s Postcode Lottery.
Diane Irankunda is 18 years’ old. She goes to Groupe Scholaire, Muko, Musanze district. Diane is one hundred of girls in her school who can attest and testify to how having a girl’s room is vital for their esteem, health and education.
According to Diane, life has changed for her and many girls who now happily go through their menstrual cycle without any inconveniences.
“Whenever I was having my menstrual cycle, I would be forced to return home most of that time because many times I would get terrible cramps and my sanitary towel would be full and I would need to go back home, hence missing some classes. This was very inconveniencing for my education,” Diane recollects.
She notes that her and other girls didn’t have a safe space and comfortable to go to and clean up or change sanitary towels during that time of the month, but now they do.
“I don’t have to miss classes anymore now when am having my monthly periods. I can come to the girls’ room, clean up and change sanitary towels. The girls room has a bathroom where I can clean up and have access to sanitary pads too. There’s a bed too so I can always take a short nap when having cramps,” Diane adds.
13-year-old Ange Nyiramigisha, is also one the girls benefitting from this girls’ room. She says that it has mainly helped her not to have to deal with low self-esteem during her monthly periods.
“The boys used to laugh at me and other girls whenever they would know we were having our periods. Whenever we would stain our uniforms or go to change, they would make fun of us and laugh at us. I was very ashamed of coming to school during I thought they would tell and make fun of me. Now that there’s a girl’s room, I just come here and do what I need to do without them knowing and so they don’t get to laugh at me anymore,” notes Ange.