23rd January 2010. I had my first period. Unlike the common tale, I knew exactly what I needed to do. I needed a pad. It was simple and nothing to worry about. I was becoming a woman.
I could now have a concrete and justifiable reason as to why, I could not go for P.E and swimming class. See, for me I always had pads because, I had to. Right? It was what was expected of me. I mean there really was no other alternative. Was there? Fast forward to high school. I went to a public national high school. The reality of my privilege was astonishing.
I remember a day we were asked to donate pads for girls who could not afford to have pads. Could not afford? I could not understand how that was possible until I started to look at it from a completely different lense. See these girls did not have the opportunities I had.
They did not have the reality I did. The most ridiculous part for me was the fact that these girls were being punished for a natural bodily function that is glorified only when it is convenient. It is unfair. It should not happen. You have set a race designed for women to lose.
I am part of Nawiri because of one thing. Fairness. I think it is my human responsibility to contribute to making what is wrong in the world a little better.
Asking a girl to compete in a national examination with boys is completely unfair if her pad is a hole in the ground she has to sit in.
Level the playing ground. Asking a woman to hide her pad until the day society decides it is her time to own her womanhood and bear children (which would not be possible if she did not have her period) is unfair.
If you would like a woman to own her womanhood, let her own all parts of it. Having pads being completely inaccessible to women because of the cost of purchasing them is unfair.
Women should not be persecuted for something they have no direct control over. I am in Nawiri because to achieve a greater tomorrow, we must level the playing field.
WE ARE NAWIRI.