There is no day that a girl is not menstruating in the world. This means that every day a group of girls get to be stigmatized or have no access to menstrual hygiene products such as sanitary pads and tissue paper. In Ghana, just as around the world, period poverty is real. Aside from the pain accompanied by the periods, girls have to go through the stress of purchasing expensive sanitary pads. In some parts of the country, there is no access to them and girls have to rely on old clothes which is an unhygienic practice.
The Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2022 seeks to involve stakeholders in ‘translating increased attention for menstrual health and hygiene into measurable action and investment’. The action being taken is to break the silence around periods, tackle the stigma often associated with them, and raise awareness of the importance of menstrual hygiene for women and girls so that menstruation becomes a normal fact of life by 2030.
As part of our contribution to safe periods and access to menstrual products, Starlight Foundation over the years has targeted young girls and the differently-abled persons through our Let Her Know initiative. Through this, young girls and differently-abled persons are taught menstrual hygiene techniques through fun games. They are taught how to properly handle themselves during such periods to avoid mockery and stigmatization and finally, they are given menstrual products such as sanitary pads and protective equipment to aid in their monthly cycle.
This year in collaboration with Adamfo Ghana, girls in Accra Psychiatric Hospital, Accra Rehabilitation Centre, Kodjonya Millennium Presby School, the School for the Blind in Akropong and some street-connected will have access to reusable pads that can last for years. This comes as a result of the rise in prices of menstrual products and the need for the girls to feel confident whiles menstruating.
We as families and community members need to invest more attention in menstrual issues as they are part of the lives of our girls. The ability for our girls to embrace their periods safely dwells on us making menstrual health a priority and access to menstrual products a necessity.
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