‘Don’t see menstruation as  taboo’

The Project Officer and Focal Person for Gender, Child Protection and Safe Guarding for The Hunger-Project, Ghana (THP-Ghana), Patricia OseiAmponsah has called on traditional authorities, parents and community members to desist from seeing menstruation as a taboo.

According to her, people still held the perception, especially those in rural communities in the country and tend to stigmatise women and girls in such situations.

“We need to give these women and young girls an enabling environment to be able to have their menstruation freely devoid of been confined in their rooms, prevented from eating certain foods, denied of association among others. Everybody has a right to bodily autonomy,” she said.

MsAmponsah made these known during the celebration of the Global Menstrual Hygiene Day organised at the Boti Epicenter by THP-Ghana and sponsored by THP-Sweden, at Boti in the YiloKrobo District of the Eastern region, on the theme: “Together for a Period Friendly World.”

The celebration, aimed at sensitizing stakeholders to ensure personal hygiene and proper menstrual management throughout their period, brought together in-school girls and teachers from six schools under the Boti Epicenter, Health Staff, Adolescent Mothers, THP-Ghana Animators, Epicenter Executives, programme animators and the media.

The event was also aimed at advocating for a period free community, where stigma and taboos surrounding menstruation would become history.

The Project Officer for THP-Ghana noted that menstrual hygiene was a human right issue and not just about health, adding that the ability to care for one’s body while menstruating, was an essential part of fundamental freedom for girls.

She said such bad perception about menstruation was often used to suppress young girls and women, adding that the country would not be able to achieve gender equality and equity if such perception with it associated stigma continued.

MsAmponsah explained that what stakeholders should be concerned about was

For her part, a Senior Staff Nurse at the Boti Epicenter, MsGiftyOfosuwaaOsei, who educated the women and girls on Menstrual Hygiene, advised them to ensure to keep good hygiene by bathing and changing themselves regularly.

She said such good practices would prevent them from getting infections which came as a result of keeping poor hygiene during mensuration.

AugustinaDjabaa, a 16-year-old JHS three pupil from one of the schools was grateful to THP-Ghana and Sweden for the education, and added that previously she held some bad perception, but the education had enlightened her.

She hoped to share lessons learnt with other friends and parents, and called on stakeholders to get close to their young girls and teach them before their menstruation approaches.

Some boxes of sanitary pads were shared among the young girls to enable them have some to cater for their menstruation.


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