22-year old Juliana Akosua Manu Afful is dedicated to bringing awareness to the importance of good menstrual hygiene whilst empowering young girls in her community. According to Manu, an article caught her eye and changed her perspective on the grievousness of ‘menstrual hygiene ignorance’.
“The week we came for auditions was the menstrual health week. And I read an article that actually made me change my mind about menstrual health. I read that when you take 5 girls in Ghana, only 3 of them can afford sanitary pads. And condom is actually cheaper than sanitary pads when we don’t choose to menstruate. To have sex is a choice. You can choose whether or not to have sex. But you don’t have a choice or say whether or not you want to experience menstruation. So why should we have to pay for that? And there is even a luxury tax on the importation of sanitary pads.”
Manu comes from Asankabreman in the Amenfi West district located in the Western region. She is a graduate of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, where she holds a degree in Economics. Currently, Manu is stationed at the Ghana Revenue Authority as service personnel in service to her country.
According to Manu, the absence of menstrual hygiene facilities prevents women and girls from being able to manage their menstruation in privacy, safety and with dignity wherever they find themselves. She said, “I know for a fact that there are people in Ghana who are seen as people who can afford sanitary pads, but they actually can’t afford it. Some people use rose toilet rolls and cement paper. All those are very unhygienic, and because they cannot afford they are finding substitutes. That’s what they use.”
On the other hand, Manu believes menstrual health and hygiene education is for everyone. She says that some people who can afford the needed facilities do not do so because they are just ignorant about the dangers of their actions. So, she chose the GMB platform as the best medium to push this agenda nationwide.
“The GMB platform is very prestigious. It gives young women like me a platform to learn about our culture. And also educate other people about our culture. With this, we are not losing our cultural values as a people of Ghana. It will also allow you to undertake a project that is dear to your heart.”
Beautiful, intelligent and eloquent, Manu is confident in her position as the incoming 2021 GMB queen. She loves to sing, act and cook. Manu can’t wait to morph into a happily married entrepreneur who affects the lives of people positively.
By Grace Somuah-Annan|3news.com|Ghana]]>