A partnership led by France is preparing to fund an ambitious project aimed at addressing menstrual hygiene challenges facing women and girls across Ethiopia.
Representatives from CARE France, the French Development Agency (AFD) and the French Embassy in Ethiopia signed an agreement Wednesday pledging over two million dollars for the initiative.
The effort seeks to combat the fact that 72 percent of Ethiopian women and girls struggle to manage their menstrual hygiene with dignity due to a lack of proper products, according to CARE.
The project has two goals: Establishing a platform for dialogue between the private sector and government to help businesses overcome obstacles, and supporting local production of environmentally friendly, affordable menstrual products using raw materials sourced within Ethiopia by the Ethiopian Institute of Textile, Bahir Dar University.
AFD official Valérie Tehio said the plan aims to “revolutionize” production and distribution of menstrual products by finding solutions to problems within the value chain.
CARE France and CARE Ethiopia will raise awareness and aid the private sector to manufacture and distribute the products. The initiative hopes to ultimately impact five million Ethiopians.
French Ambassador Remi Marechaux said his country wants to unleash the private sector’s potential to solve “a problem that jeopardizes the quality of life of millions of women.”
The partners believe locally produced, affordable products can ensure Ethiopian women and girls have sustainable access to manage their menstruation with dignity – contributing to progress on UN sustainable development goals.