CNN Hero of the Year

Alyssa Hernandez, Writer

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Alyssa Hernandez 

Mrs. Seltzer 

Journalism 1 

5 Feb 2020 

CNN Hero of the Year 

“I am so humbled and grateful for CNN … this is for all the girls and women everywhere. Dignity for all.” Says Freweini Mebrahtu as she was receiving the award for CNN Hero of the Year. Freweini has created a reusable menstrual pad, it was designed and patented in 2005. Her and her team made over 750,000 and have helped over 800,000 women. 

Over 80% are given out for free after being sold to non-governmental organizations. Freweini decided to educate girls and boys at schools about periods, they spoke on how its natural and not shameful in any way. Freweini created these reusable pads to help younger girls not miss school so much. Since the release of these reusable pads girl’s attendance in school have increased by 24%. Her product is called the Dignity Period, their hopes are to help girls and women all around the world with menstrual hygiene kits and to end the stigma about periods.  

In rural areas they either don’t have access to sanitary products, or they are very expensive, so most girls and women had to cope by using rags. Girls fear having an accident in school and instead of feeling that shame they rather just miss schoolMenstruation is not taught in school and girls usually choose to not discuss it with someone else, in Ethiopia menstruation is looked at to be taboo. These reusable pads she has created are 90% less expensive than a year worth of disposable pads. Dignity period also makes underwear, most girls in Ethiopia don’t even have access to get underwear. In a premium pack from Dignity Period comes four pads and two pairs of underwear all for $4.10.  

Dignity period hires many women to work for them and never high managers out of the work, they want to give the opportunity to the women they already hired to move up and become manager of an organization they are proud of. Each of them gets 4 months of maternity leave and they provide a daycare so they can come back to work and won’t have to worry who can watch their baby.