Just a decade ago, there was little discussion of the challenges girls in sub-Saharan Africa faced with their periods. In recent years, a groundswell of attention by non-profits, development organisations and governments means there is a growing consensus: girls should have access to the products they need without shame or secrecy.

“The time when a girl’s world is supposed to open up instead becomes a time when her opportunities are beginning to contract,” says Alison Nakamura Netter, chief communications and development officer for ZanaAfrica, which provides sanitary products and reproductive rights education in Kenya.

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