In commemoration of this year’s International Day of the Girl Child, makers of the leading Feminine Care brand, Always Sanitary Pads, has announced the next round of donations for the Always Keeping Girls in School (AKGIS) Program at an event which took place in Abuja. The ceremony was held at the Government Secondary School, Wuse Zone 3, Abuja on Tuesday the 12th of October 2020 and had in attendance; Her Excellency Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo, the wife of the Vice President of Nigeria; Her Excellency, Mrs. Bamidele Abiodun, the First Lady of Ogun state; Her Excellency, Mrs. Zainab Shinkafi Bagudu, the First Lady of Kebbi state, the Honorable Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs. Paulen Talen, the honorable Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba amongst a host of other top dignitaries and key stakeholders.
The AKGIS program is a key intervention targeted at enhancing girls’ knowledge and practices around reproductive health through life skill training, provision of emergency sanitary kits and the mobilization of stakeholders support for menstrual hygiene management in schools. The program is inspired by the Always brand purpose – to unleash women and girls’ confidence so they can be whoever they want to be – and by Procter & Gamble’s commitment to gender equality building a world where everyone sees equal. Since 2008, P&G has implemented the program across Africa including Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa. The program has reached over 200, 000 girls and donating over 13 million pads.
In Nigeria, this year’s AKGIS program will be implemented by the Tabitha Cumi Foundation reaching schoolgirls in the FCT, Abuja and Ogun state with essential menstrual health management training and donation of a year’s supply of sanitary pads so that they can commit to their education and future fully. Commenting on the initiative, Her Excellency Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo, the wife of the Vice President of Nigeria in her keynote address expressed her appreciation to P&G for creating such a remarkable program to help young girls in Nigeria. Mrs. Osinbajo said “Menstruation is not a curse, but a blessing which every girl and woman should live with utmost dignity confidence and pride, while observing the highest rate of hygiene and safety. The lack of access to menstrual hygiene products, lack of sanitation infrastructure, and lack of menstrual hygiene education can impact negatively on their ability to reach their full potential in school, in the workplace, or at home. Therefore, Menstrual Hygiene Management is key to healthy, productive and dignified lives for women and girls. The AKGIS program is quite remarkable, and we hope to see more initiatives like this from other brands.”
“Every girl child and woman deserve to live to her fullest potential; therefore, we are focused on removing barriers to education for girls and economic opportunities for women through our brand advocacy programs such as the Always Keeping Girls in School Program,” said Mokutima Ajileye, Managing Director for Procter & Gamble Nigeria. “In line with P&G’s commitment as a force for good, we aspire to build a better world, one free of gender bias however, we realize that we cannot build this world alone, a better world requires collaborative efforts between the government, NGOs and private individuals.”
She further stated that “To drive permanent progress, we must make practical changes, addressing inequality wherever it is present thereby changing the narratives about the place and power of girls and women in society. Empowered girls grow to become empowered women who contribute financially to the economy, while improving their communities.”
Commenting on the program, the Honorable Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs. Paulen Talen said, “as we continue to widen the scope of the ministry’s partnership in delivering on the goal of the girl-child education, the 2021 International Day of the Girl-Child and the launch of P&G’s Always Keeping Girls in School program is an opportunity to help more girls to stay in school and become great women in the future.”
P&G and its brands continue to leverage their influential voice to drive further awareness for menstrual health management, tackle gender bias, spark conversations and motivate change.