Menstrual Hygiene! Time For Action
So what is happening with the poor little girls during their menstruation? Are families starving as they prioritize Menstrual hygiene for girl child? Are pads being prioritized together with food and other basic necessities? It's Time for Action
By Trichardt Ncube
The world commemorates Menstrual Hygiene Day on the 28 of May every year. Civil Society Organisations advocate for the importance of good Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM). This year, Menstrual Hygiene Day recognizes that periods do not stop even during pandemics such as the COVID-19 that we are experiencing. This theme highlights the urgency for the collective work needed to both change the negative social norms surrounding menstruation and also catalyze progress towards empowering women and girls to unlock their educational and economic opportunities."
Water scarcity has been a challenge across the length and breadth of our country. Menstrual hygiene calls for access to clean water for young people and women to utilize during their monthly "periods". Indeed it is Time for Action. Central and Local Governments need to ensure that they fulfill their obligations so that people have access to clean water.
With the current challenges being faced as a result of COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns, most families incomes have been affected but nature still continues to take it's course. With the prices of commodities going up, sanitary wear has been greatly impacted leaving many being vulnerable. Economies are on lockdown but indeed menstruation hasn't locked down.
With women and adolescent girls being required to take part in duties socially defined as theirs in the home, much has been left unaddressed pertaining to their menstrual health and hygiene. This has left even men being at risk of being affected by the consequences of poor menstrual health and hygiene practices.
Some women and girls that I spoke to say they are using pieces of cloth and some are even resorting to tree leaves and cow dung. How safe is that? It's indeed Time for Action. Women and adolescent girls need more support than ever before.
Men who are supportive of their girl children and wives are needed during this period. Emotional, financial and mutual support is needed for females to get through. Menstrual health and hygiene must be a priority in our families. Together we can make it for It's Time for Action. The call for Action comes to every individual as this affects us all.
It's time to think and act on sustainable measures that ensure menstrual health and hygiene across women and girls of all classes, race or location. A community-driven approach is needed through all stakeholder's engagement on sustainable measures towards ensuring that women enjoy their menstrual health and hygiene.
Menstrual health and hygiene must not rely on the socio-economic status of anyone but on the basis of humanity. Women's pride should not be deprived because of sanitary wear affordability and accessibility. It's Time for Action.
#ItsTime4Action End Discrimination Against Women during their Menstrual Period. #EndGBV
Trichardt Ncube is a Development Practitioner with interests in pro-Youth and women programs with experience in HIV prevention, SRHR, GBV issues, Social Accountability Monitoring, education, advocacy, and youth inclusion in key decision-making processes.
*This story first appeared on the Media4GenderJustice blog