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1. Tell us about yourself
I am Nabukwasi Jane Carol, mother of 2 beautiful children. I’m 33yrs old, have a Diploma in Guidance and Counselling. I’m very friendly but not easily intimidated or soft spoken.
2. How did you get into the work that you do?
I always wanted to work with young girls and women ever since I did my volunteer work with Life Guard Protector. When I learnt about Irise that gave me more urge.
The interactions exposure I get as well as exciting new ideas I receive as I go along. People give me different ideas on how to work. Opinions I get from different people during my field work and meetings help me evolve in the work I do
4. What is your role at Irise?
I am the Sales Representative for 3 districts Mukono, Wakiso, Kampala. I also network with different organisations as the Sales Representative of Irise
5. How would you define your personal everyday women’s rights journey?
Challenging. Sometimes people assume because I am young that I cannot do a certain things or I am not qualified enough for the work that I do and this makes it challenging. If a man was to present the same presentation, everyone pays attention to him but this is mostly not reciprocated when I as a woman do it.
6. What drives you in your personal life and in the work that you do?
The day to day life of girls and women in the communities. I get to hear different stories and lived realities from different girls and women and when I look at them more deeply I find that they lead to the same solution. This makes me feel like there is more need for sensitization, that before giving or offering solutions, people should get to learn more about the issue at hand.
7. Why do you think it is important to make clean and safe sanitary products accessible to girls everywhere?
My field work lets me know more on what forms of sanitary towels girls from different areas and backgrounds use, this gives me the chance to know what kind of sanitation girls use and gives me a chance to educate them on which kinds of sanitary materials are safe and hygienic for use, based on the knowledge I have received from Irise.
Make Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) program a must in schools, termly. There should be regular sessions in school activities that include MHM discussions.
Sensitization of community health leaders is also important. The community health leaders should be involved in the MHM sessions together with their communities, because you find that most of them do not know what MHM is. If they were trained, they will be in a position to impart knowledge to the rest of the community and this will trickle down to the families and the larger society.
9. What particular experience or event from your own life made you realize the importance of women’s rights and gender equality?
Once I was sent to have meet with the bigger organizations and one of the people present ambushed me to do a session, now this group was full of men. At the end they started asking me questions to try and intimidate me rather than asking me questions related to the presentation I had made. This made me realize that it is not right to judge someone’s capability just by looking at them and assuming because they are female they cannot do it.
10. What advice would you give to young girls who have just started their periods and do not understand what is happening to their bodies?
All women go through this, part of their body changing as she grows up and not get scared as boys also have their own changes.
Guide her on how she should keep herself clean, what to use. Tell her how many times to change her towel per day, depending on where she is, how to make a sanitary towel with available materials incase of emergency, until she is able to get a proper one.