Women’s health takes centre stage

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A charitable drive to provide handmade feminine sanitary items to girls in developing countries has been taking place in St Helens town centre.

Ruth Miller runs the vintage haberdashery store The Button Lady in Phoenix Apparel, and is involved in the Days for Girls International project with fellow store owners and customers in the Phoenix community.

Women and girls across the developing world don’t have adequate access to sanitary products, and because of cultural taboos must stay home during their period, missing up to two months of education and opportunity every year.

The group has been meeting once a month to donate to and produce stylish, quality kits containing washable pads and handy extras, to be sent to girls across the world.

Ruth said: “I got involved in Days for Girls a few years ago and I’ve been contributing to it over time. I found I had a lot of spare material from the shop and I’d talk about it with customers and friends who’d donate more material and soap and other bits.

“This time we’re sending 15 kits, which will go to 15 girls in the Philippines or in European refugee camps – or wherever they’re needed – and help to keep them in school during their period for up to three years.”

The group is one of around ten in the UK to volunteer their time to the global project.

The recent sending away session was held notably on International Women’s Day, with the mission of the project not only to provide access to sanitary products, but also to eliminate stigma and give back a sense of self-worth and confidence to girls who have been made to feel isolated and at fault because of their period.

Ruth added: “You don’t have to be able to sew to get involved, but it’s a really important project that not many people know about. If you want to take part, just pop in and see me at Phoenix Apparel, Corporation Street.”

To learn more about Days for Girls International, visit www.daysforgirls.org