Women Wednesday #26
Posted on 26 April 2017
In Uganda, sexual health is a taboo subject. This plus the sky-high costs of healthcare, which prevents many low-income earning women from not just being able to afford prescriptions, but even consultations with doctors, means many women in Uganda are not having access to healthcare professionals. This leads to many undiagnosed illnesses and diseases and in many cases these untreated illnesses can be fatal. Maghi Nanyombi from Kampala has always been interested in health generally but when she had the experience of asking people for medical money for check-up, she decided there and then to take a greater interest in the issues of the women’s reproductive health because it is a big killer and can stop women from starting families. Together she and her friends have created an app called the BVKit, that helps women to test themselves for Bacterial Vaginosis, the most common vaginal infection in women aged 15-44. This particular disease holds high priority for Maghi and her team (Team Code Gurus) because Bacterial Vaginosis is a silent sexual health illness that doesn’t show any signs or symptoms. It’s an incredible project that will save lives across not only Uganda but a lot of the world once it’s going strong. We at Neon Moon are beyond impressed with this work!
Sharon Kadangwe is a poet, writer, model & entrepreneur from Blantyre, Malawi. Apart from obtaining a degree in Counselling Psychology, she is passionate about youth empowerment, the arts, social justice and social change. Despite limited opportunities and support to young women in the small landlocked country, Sharon chooses to use fashion to be a voice for young female entrepreneurs. A few years ago, she and her friends founded the Winter Ankara Fashion Expo (WAFE), an annual event which shut down half of Blantyre City CBD and turned the streets into runways. WAFE has now culminated in a collective called The Creatives, a fashion events management company that is now a collective of fashion designers, models, photographers and artists. The aim of WAFE is to provide a platform for people in the fashion industry to network and connect while promoting youth entrepreneurship as most designers and models in Malawi are the youth. Kadangwe and her friends also have a CSR project called WAFE CARES, which is an initiative that aims to teach secondary school students about creative recycling and using their talents. They had their first WAFE CARES on 31st May at Zingwangwa Secondary School and it went brilliantly. “It was encouraging to see that young people are interested in eco-friendly fashion.” Encouraging young people in such an out-of-the-box way is incredible and we respect the hell out of her work, drive and passion.
Chaya Mohite is one of Mumbai's first female auto drivers to make use of a government scheme aimed at empowering women. The 45-year-old was one of 19 women who recently started jobs ferrying passengers through the notoriously congested streets of India's financial capital in their new three-wheelers. The mother of three has spent the past two months learning how to drive at a training centre in Mumbai's eastern suburbs and is thrilled with her new skills and financial prospects. "I couldn't even ride a bicycle but today I can drive an auto rickshaw. I'm independent and it makes me happy," says Mohite, who hopes to earn 1,000 rupees ($15) a day. She is benefitting from a scheme introduced by the state government of Maharashtra, of which Mumbai is the capital, that reserves five percent of rickshaw permits for women. Services started in Thane last year but Mohite and her new colleagues, who will sport white lab-coat-like uniforms, are the first to ply the streets of India's most populated metropolis. Dhoipode, the women’s driving instructor, is currently teaching more than 40 women how to drive while around 500 others have expressed an interest in learning despite some community opposition in the conservative country. Rickshaw permits are highly sought after in Mumbai and can be big business, with owners often renting them out for a fee or lending them to others when their shift has finished. This is an amazing opportunity for these women and we are incredibly proud of them! It’s not easy breaking out of the norm and they’re doing it beautifully.
Have a positive week,
Love Neon Moon x