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Sarah Webb

Sarah Webb - 2017 Nominee
Position: Program Director, Asia and Latin America
Organization: Days for Girls International
Current Location: United States, North America
BA, Politics & Government from University of Puget Sound
Additional Degrees and Certifications:
Certificate in Social Entrepreneurship, Columbia University Business School
Awards Received:
  • Award:
    Outstanding Research Award (for Senior Thesis)
    Awarding Organization:
    University of Puget Sound, Politics Department
    Date Awarded:
    May 12, 2012
Sarah is a leader in developing menstrual hygiene programs that inspire and empower girls around the world at a critical time in their lives. Through her efforts thousands of girls have increased knowledge to help them make informed decisions – Sandy Clark, CDO at Days for Girls
Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

For the past several years, I have been working on menstrual hygiene management and women's health education around the globe. Through my current position at Days for Girls, in addition to previous positions with other public health NGOs, I have worked closely with women (and men) in communities throughout Asia, Africa, and South America to discuss menstrual hygiene and women's reproductive health. In fighting the stigma & taboos that often surround women's bodies, menstrual hygiene is a key starting point. These women's health lessons shatter the stigma associated with menstruation, and teach women & girls about how their bodies work & the importance of understanding the menstrual cycle, often providing the first formal education that communities have received on reproductive health.

What sparked your passion for family planning?

From a young age, I have been a passionate advocate of women's reproductive rights & family planning. For me, reproductive justice and the ability to make decisions about my body & my future are at the core of women's empowerment issues. When I started working internationally, this passion only grew as I saw how limited education and access to knowledge surrounding reproductive health, family planning, and menstrual hygiene were in many of the communities that I was working in.

Give one or two examples of how you display leadership in your family planning work.:

In the work that I do with women's health my top priority is to cultivate local leadership on women's health & menstrual hygiene advocacy. As a Program Director, I work closely to build systems, processes, and programming that prioritizes the involvement of local women who can become advocates and activists in their communities. I helped to design & implement a project in western Nepal challenging the stigma related to menstruation, and worked closely to on-board local trainers.

If you are named a winner of 120 under 40, how will you use this new platform and the $1000 grant to advance your work? :

If I am named a winner of 120 under 40, I will use this platform and grant opportunity to jump-start women's health programming in rural India. After living & working in India for over a year, I am passionate about women's health issues & family planning in a country that faces so many obstacles with over-population and gender equality. I will use this grant towards establishing local programming that priorities menstrual hygiene education in addition to empowering local leaders.

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