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About Dignity Period


In 2014, Dr. Lewis Wall spent eight months as a Fulbright Scholar in Ethiopia at the College of Health Sciences, Mekelle University, working to improve residency education in obstetrics and gynecology.

During his time in Mekelle, Lewis and his wife, Helen, and their friends, Mike and Lynn Coatney, became familiar with the work and story of Freweini Mebrahtu, founder of Mariam Seba Sanitary Products Factory.

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They learned that menstruation was often linked to a significantly higher dropout rate for girls in Ethiopia: 51% compared to 30% for boys.

The challenge of menstrual hygiene in Ethiopia stood out as a problem that could be solved through dedicated outreach and a commitment to ethnographic and anthropological research and education.

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The Walls and the Coatneys worked with Mekelle University and Freweini to establish a partnership, and Dignity Period was born. Today, Dignity Period is expanding our work in Ethiopia to fight period poverty in places like St. Louis and beyond.

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