Menstrual Hygiene Day is held globally every 28 May to create awareness and share knowledge about menstrual hygiene management. It is a global platform that brings everyone together to promote menstrual hygiene management. Menstrual hygiene day raises awareness of the challenges faced by women and girls worldwide, due to menstruation. The theme of this year’s campaign is ‘Education about menstruation changes everything’.
Globally, millions of girls are faced with one form of segregation or stigmatization due to certain myths on menstruation in their region. This has taken away the confidence of most girl-child during menstruation. In developing countries, the high poverty rate has further heightened the difficulties face by girls during menstruation. Some of the girls use old clothes, papers and even leaves as pads.
Apart from the health challenges associated with these unhygienic practices, most times, the use of these materials leads to embarrassment, lack of confidence and absence from school among girls. Vulnerable and poor girls have been sexually molested while some end up with unwanted pregnancies, in their quest to get money for sanitary pads and avoid the stench and embarrassment that comes with using clothes and papers as pads.
In regions where menstruation myths exists and strictly adhered to, girls face discrimination and stigmatization. This has caused most girls in such regions to lose confidence and feel ashamed during menstruation. In some regions, it is even considered a taboo to talk about it, hence, when a girl faces any challenge or anomaly during menstruation, she has no one to talk to.
An online survey carried out by Hope Spring Water showed that about 50% of girls have missed school because of menstruation while 100% confirmed that more sensitization is needed on menstrual hygiene.
In reaction to the survey response, Hope Spring Water would be carrying out a sensitization campaign in rural schools in Nigeria, where sanitary pads will also be distributed to the poor and vulnerable school girls.
Why do girls have to face these ordeals for a natural cycle, which ordinarily, they should be proud of?
Education about menstruation changes everything
Together we can smash the shame
Together we can break the silence
Together we can boost the confidence of our young girls