Florence Akara: Ending Period Poverty and Breaking the Menstrual Taboo
We are excited to celebrate International Women's Day with you and #ChooseToChallenge menstrual stigma, inequality, and stereotyping! Florence Akara is a feminist, menstrual health rights advocate, women’s rights activist and Managing Director of Femme International, an NGO in East Africa that is helping to break the barriers and stigma people face as a result of menstruation.
Florence grew up in Kenya, in a family with three sisters and a much younger brother. The girls weren’t limited by traditional roles, helping with yard work and changing tires and blown fuses, brought up to believe they could do anything boys could do. Florence's experience in the wider world as a young woman opened her eyes to societal expectations and limitations based on gender. It motivated her to work harder, outperform, and achieve more.
Florence graduated from the University of Botswana with a degree in law, working in corporate law, and later assisting with advocacy campaigns for Chapter One Kenya. But Florence felt a pull towards a career that brought her more fulfilment and meaning. When Florence was first introduced to Femme International, she knew that the empowerment of women and girls was the answer. Florence left Kenya for Tanzania, joining Femme in 2018, first as a regional director and then as managing director.
Chelsea talks with Florence about her journey to activism and Femme International, how her childhood mobilized and prepared her to challenge gender stereotypes, her work with Femme, the economic burden of menstruation, using menstrual positive language and so much more!
Follow along Florence's journey at @menstrualogically_flow.
Learn more about Femme International @femmeinternational, femmeinternational.org and get involved with Femme International's Twaweza Program, which means "we can" in Swahili and their Twende Initiative, which means "lets go" in Swahili.
Make a monetary donation to Femme International.
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