To mark the 2021 International Women’s Day, a day set aside annually to celebrate the achievements of women and rally together for gender equality, Raquel Daniel, an educator and founder of Beyond the Classroom Foundation unveiled a new book called Squeaky Clean, geared towards helping girls understand personal hygiene and better take care of themselves as they grow into and through their teenage years.
The book, she said, is a friendly, reassuring, and positive guide for girls aged 9 to 13 years on personal hygiene and it covers topics around oral hygiene, skincare, washing of hands, caring of the feet, hair, eyes, nose, ears, and menstrual care. In addition, there is a further expanded section about a healthy lifestyle and visits to a gynecologist.
Raquel also addressed issues that girls need to pay attention to like eating healthy, exercising, and hydrating.
On what inspired her new book, Daniel said: “While growing up, my mum said to me ‘when you follow the rules of good personal hygiene, you will not only help yourself but also help others.’ As I got older and as my body started to change and develop, her words stayed with me and hygiene became a priority. When I eventually went to boarding school, where it was near impossible to stay clean, I did my best to practice what I was taught. Working with teenagers now through my nonprofit, I saw the need to teach girls what my mum taught me.”
The campaign theme for International Women’s Day 2021 is #ChooseToChallenge and the author said, “I choose to challenge parents to pay more attention to their daughters because so many of the health problems that some teenage girls face are linked to their activities and habits that borders around personal hygiene.” Her message to parents is to start teaching their daughters about personal hygiene early and not wait until they reach puberty to teach them good health and hygiene habits.
“Hygiene is more than just being clean and if there’s one thing I want them to take away from the Squeaky Clean Book, it is that their appearance sends messages to other people about who they are. And grooming plays a big role in their appearance” she added.