To complement effort to address challenges girls face in managing their menstruation, Inspire to Rise, a non-governmental oragnisation has educated two schools on Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM).
The schools were Saint Peters Anglican School and Adenta Community School in the Greater Accra Region.
Ms Wendy Laryea, a UNICEF Menstrual Hygiene Influencer who addressed the students in separate sessions said the menstrual hygiene had effect on women and girls’ reproductive health, ultimately affecting progress on gender equality under the Sustainable Development Goals.
Ms Laryea, who is also the Founder of Inspire to Rise, described Menstrual Hygiene Management as the practice of using clean materials to absorb menstrual blood.
She advised that the menstrual blood needed to be changed privately, safely, hygienically, and as often as needed for the duration of the menstrual cycle.
Touching on some of the challenges women and girls go through, she stated that inadequate water, improper sanitation and lack of hygiene facilities, particularly in public places, such as in schools, workplaces and health centers, could pose a major obstacle to women and girls.
Ms Laryea said lack of separate toilets with doors that can be safely closed, or the unavailability of means to dispose of used sanitary pads and water to wash hands affect women and girls.
“The challenge menstruating girls and women face is often less tangible than simply the availability of infrastructure and it is rooted in social norms and beliefs. In many cultures, menstruating women are considered impure and are systematically excluded from participating in everyday activities, such as education, employment, and cultural and religious practices,” she noted.
“Moreover, the taboos and stigmas attached to menstruation lead to an overall culture of silence around the topic, resulting in limited information on menstruation and menstrual hygiene”.
The session at the Adenta Community School was in partnership with Kings Foundation Ghana, whose founder Sweetielina Boateng-Antwi was full of praise for the programme.