Programmes Manager at the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources, Charlotte Akwaah-Adjei Marfo, has admonished parents, especially fathers to factor in monthly stipends for sanitary products for teenage girls in their menstrual period.
She said menstruation is a biological process of womanhood, therefore there is no need for women to be shy about it and society, especially men to stigmatize women in their periodic cycle.
Mrs. Marfo was speaking on the heels of the ‘World Menstruation Day’ with TV3’s Martin Asiedu Dartey on Thursday, May 27.
She called on the government and all stakeholders to sensitize and educate students on the subject but most importantly, the need to provide the sanitary facilities that girls need when they are in their blood-letting period.
“It is very important to take it holistically, starting from all stakeholders including government. We have our structures, the school system is there, the education system is there, so we have a lot of sensitization and education going on in our schools. But more importantly, we have to provide the facilities that women need when we are menstruating.
“For instance, if you have a house without a toilet and I have to go to a public toilet, how do I get the privacy to change when I have to? If I have to bathe at a public bath house, what is the privacy when I’m menstruating? And when I go to school and there is no toilet and the boys will be peeping when you want to change yourself or when you soil yourself and all that”.
She said all these limitations in our society in the way of women, especially the girl child crushes the confidence of women in their periodic cycles. She also pointed out the need to invest in research to mainstream menstrual hygiene and health in the daily lives of women and girls in the country.
“We have to mainstream menstrual hygiene and health in all systems and in all spheres of our lives once we are still having women and girls on this planet”.
On the question of what men could do in making sure the public education is thorough on the subject of menstruation, she said “so all our menstrual hygiene interventions, we don’t do it for only girls, we do for boys and girls. And we even have messages that says: Boys support girls when they are menstruating, and even it starts from fathers, I remember when I was a child when I’m menstruating or maybe it’s because my father was in the medical profession, he’s the one I will tell, he will give me gauze in those days.
“So when we are budgeting and we are buying groceries for the home, we should include sanitary products. Every month when we are shopping we should include sanitary products, fathers should add that to the housekeeping money so that the girls will have sanitary products to use. And then also, we need the support of fathers when in that stage and then we can fit into society because what your father tells you at home, when you go out and other men are saying it, you will not believe or it will not have any effect on you”.
Mrs. Marfo implored parents, especially fathers to support girls when in their periodic cycle to build confidence in them that will go a long way to yielding far reaching results in the future.
By Barima Kwabena Yeboah|3news.com|Ghan