If you missed our Instagram live on Period Poverty on 3rd Spetember 2021, keep reading to know what transpired that fruitful evening.
This live was hosted by Ms. Lindsay Kebirungi, our Mission Ambassador for Gender Equality (SDG 5). The session was aimed at understanding period poverty and creating sustainable solutions through increased awareness and access to affordable, safe and hygienic menstrual products.
It was a 12 minute jam-packed session that enlightened the viewers about what period poverty is and how each and every one of us can suppress the stigma and misconceptions around menstruation.
Lindsay defined period poverty as the financial struggle many women and girls face in trying to afford menstrual products like menstrual pads and tampons and cost related items like underwear and pain medications.
As some women can easily access these sanitary products, many are still living under the poverty line and are the most vulnerable to related infections due to use of unsanitary menstrual improvisions that are not absorbent. These women also lack sufficient clean running water to wash themselves clean and maintain high standards of hygiene.
"When a person doesn't have access to safe bathing facilities and access to safe and effective means of maintaining hygiene,they are not able to manage their menstrual health with dignity. This brings in other factors like teasing, exclusion and shame which also undermines the basic principles of human dignity." Lindsay emphasized.
There are a lot of misconceptions around the onset of menstruation in young girls. In many of our traditional societies, onset of menstruation is a prerequisite for marriage.
Lindsay said, "Alot of people believe that menstruation is an indication that girls are ready for sexual activity and marriage"
Many young girls unfortunately fall prey to child marriages and sexual abuse which puts a strain on their mental, physical and psychological health. During their menstruation, girls and women are also tagged unclean and are therefore prohibited from handling food and going to religious places. These misconceptions need to be wiped out of society to give women the confidence to wear their femininity with courage and pride.
As Model Peace Forum, we are organising an outreach program that will aim at providing safe menstrual items, educating young girls and women especially those in marginalized areas how to make safe and standard reusable sanitary pads and how to maintain menstrual hygiene.
Young girls and women need to be supported to embrace and defend their nature. Therefore we are all urged to render as much help as we can to our friends, sisters and mothers in our respective societies so that they can have improved menstrual health and live confidently as women.
Wrapped up by: Suzan Gaba