1) Do you know that millions of girls in Africa have to miss school and other social activities because they are menstruating and can’t afford sanitary pads?
Not having access to basic feminine hygiene products to manage menstruation limits girls and women and affects their self-esteem.
Imagine our females having to miss school, exams, sports activities, work and social gatherings because they can’t afford sanitary pads.
Imagine the fear and anxiety many girls experience each time they are menstruating because they know the wad of toilet paper, newspaper, plastic bag, socks or rag they stuffed in their panties to manage their menses may soak through and stain their dress, or even fall out and embarrass them.
2) Do you know that many teenage girls are lured into sex by some men in exchange for money for hygiene products like soaps, deodorants, toothpaste, towels, underwear and sanitary pads?
You don’t need a soothsayer to tell you the situation must have gotten worse during this COVID-19 pandemic.
3) Do you know that sanitary pads are quite expensive in Africa,? actually more expensive than condoms?
This is a shame because having sex is a choice but menstruating is not a choice.
Let me break it down;
An American dollar is equivalent to about 370 Naira.
Millions of Africans live below a dollar daily, and to the best of my knowledge sanitary pads costs about a dollar.
Most females need between 1 and a half packs to 3 packs of sanitary pads every month.
That’s about 600 to 1500 Naira monthly for pads in a place like Nigeria.
Girls and women from poor families have to give up buying sanitary pads so that their families can eat.
How can such girls and women practice good menstrual hygiene?
4) Do you know that many mothers fail to properly educate their girls on menstruation and menstrual hygiene because they feel uncomfortable talking about menstruation?
All they do once their daughter starts seeing her period, is to show her how to use a pad or how to fold rags in her underwear. The only information given to them,
“you are now a woman, if you let a man touch you, you’ll get pregnant.” That’s it.
Menstruation and sex education completed.
5) Do you know that poor menstrual hygiene can lead to reproductive tract infection, urinary tract infections and even infertility?
Men, you might say this topic doesn’t concern you, after all you don’t menstruate.
But I’m here to tell you that it concerns you too.
Tomorrow you can get married to a woman who has reproductive tract infection due to poor menstrual hygiene.
Your daughter, sister or loved one may be the one who gets an infection due to poor menstrual hygiene…
So you see, this affects us all.
~We must end the culture of not talking about menstruation.
Menstruation is nothing to be ashamed of, it is a natural occurrence.
We didn’t ask for it.
It is what it is, so we all have to deal with it.
~We must cry out about the alarming number of girls and women who can’t afford basic supplies to practice good menstrual hygiene or even have access to safe private toilets in our society.
Our nonchalance and silence is causing great harm.
Enough is enough.
We must in our own little ways educate girls and women around us about the need to practice good menstrual hygiene, and also help them with pads – as much as we can, without ulterior motives!
~We must keep speaking up about the high cost of pads in our country, so that the government can do something about it, to enable the average girl and woman in our society to be able to afford pads comfortably.
Ladies, every May 28th is menstrual hygiene day.
Today is May 28th, let’s shamelessly talk about everything that has to do with our menstruation and menstrual hygiene.
Who no like am should deactivate!
Good menstrual hygiene is our basic human right.
Females make up to close to half the population of the world, which means that half the world experience menstruation.
So menstrual hygiene education and discussion is a necessity because good menstrual hygiene and easy access to feminine hygiene products enable women and girls (half the world population) to reach their full potentials.
Written by ©Mmiliaku
Instagram page https://instagram.com/milly_aku?igshid=19et652f4onir
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