Rosie's World - Menstrual Hygiene and Health (MHH) Education

In partnership with Wash United.

Menstruation is a normal biological part of a young woman’s life – PERIOD.

But for millions of girls around the world, managing their monthly menstrual cycle is a major barrier to them making the most out of their life.

We help Girl Guides and Girl Scouts learn about menstruation but also campaign against the challenges they face around their periods, from the price of sanitary products to social stigma.

Did you know?

  • One in ten adolescent girls in Africa miss school during their period and eventually drop out (Source: UNESCO).
  • 57% of school girls in South Africa were not aware what their period was before it started. (Source: Johnson & Johnson Study, 2019).

“Periods are not something we should be ashamed of or made to feel bad about, they are a natural bodily function. Today as we strive for gender equality, it is time to recognise the challenges that still surround periods for many people. Whether it’s shame or stigma, price or pressure, many of us have suffered as a result.”

Kim, Girl Guiding UK Advocate

What are we doing?

“Before Rosie's world I did not know that you can tell others about your period” -- participant, 11 years-old, Ghana

“I want to create awareness to challenge stereotypes and taboos around menstruation to break barriers that prevent girls and young women from exploring their fullest potential” --- Pamela, young leader, Kenya

‘Rosie’s World Programme’: Partnership with Wash United

WAGGGS and WASH United are working in partnership to support MOs to deliver ‘Rosie’s World’, an educational programme specially adapted to be delivered by Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting associations in sub-Saharan African . Adapted from an innovative game and education tool that WASH United developed with girls in India, it educates girls about puberty and how to manage their periods safely, hygienically and confidently. It is story-led, with lots of games and activities, and a ‘take action’ project for girls to share what they have learnt more widely. Through completion of 'Rosie's World' girls gain their ‘Red Pride’ badge. It is delivered mostly through the YESS project as one of the key pillars.

We also work together to support MOs around the world to get involved in Menstrual Hygiene Day, and campaign on key MHM issues such as period poverty.

A few examples of MO's recent work:

A key focus for Ghana’s campaigning work is advocacy against the ‘period tax’, where VAT is levied on vital period products. Their petition has received positive response from Ghana’s Second Lady, Samira Bawumia, who has pledged her support for their petition and put her name to the bill publicly. They continue their advocacy, in collaboration with other like-minded organisations. Some Members of Parliament are supporting Ghana Girl Guides petition.

Girl Guides Kenya have a focus on hard-to-reach communities, training leaders who can help reach communities with education, breaking down norms and taboos that stop menstruating girls participating in community life. Joan, a young leader, reflects that; “... it’s very important to meet girls and talk about menstruation as in Kenya some communities have some taboos; they feel that when a girl has a period, they should be staying at home. Girls may also fear when they go through menstruation as they feel it's not original, not natural, so visiting them and teaching girls is very encouraging”.

Menstrual Hygiene Day and Red Pride Week - May

Celebrate and raise girls’ voices with us! Menstrual Hygiene Day is a global day of awareness raising and advocacy. At that time Girl Guides and Girl Scouts across the world participate in a whole week of ‘Red Pride’ activity and action. It’s a hugely important opportunity to raise awareness of the issues girls face, from ‘period poverty’ to damaging social norms that limit their rights.

Find out more here.

YESS Girls' Red Pride

From February 2019, ‘Red Pride’ became a core part of our Youth Exchange South to South (YESS) Girls Movement, our international exchange programme for Girl Guides. During their exchange, participants deliver the Rosie’s World curriculum and run amazing Red Pride Week and Menstrual Health Day campaigns. With 14 Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting associations involved in the YESS Girls Movement, we have reached over 36,000 girls and young women with life changing menstrual hygiene management education.

Menstrual Hygiene session in Tanzania

In August 2022, 20 Member Organisations attended the Menstrual Hygiene session at the recent Africa conference held in Tanzania. Out of the 20, 12 were non-YESS Exchange implementing countries, who expressed interest to learn more about Rosie’s World curriculum and use it to train their girls in menstrual hygiene. Anna, our CEO, was among the delegates that visited the MH booth to know more about the available MH learning resources and outcome of the training of the girls.

MH training Africa conference booth

What's next?

It is our ambition to widen the scope of our Rosie’s World programme, continue supporting Menstrual Heath Day, and share more stories of girls’ projects globally.

We are in the midst of planning for Red Pride Week 2023 so watch this space to find out how you can get involved!

Team Zimbabwe Yess Girls

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