‘Improving menstrual hygiene among girls crucial’

‘Improving menstrual hygiene among girls crucial’

Emefa Kumaza donating sanitary pads to some school girls

 Improving menstrual hygiene among girls is crucial because it affects school attendance as well as the en­gagement and performance of school girls, the Founder and Director of My Youth Led Community Organisation, Emefa Kumaza has said.

She explained that when girls were equipped to manage their menstru­ation safely and with confidence, it reduces the days she misses school.

Ms Kumaza said this in an inter­view with The Spectator on Friday in Accra as the world marks Menstrual Hygiene Day which is commemorated every year on May 28.

This year, the day was celebrated globally on the theme “together for a period friendly world,” with the aim of eliminating the stigma and taboos surrounding menstruation and live in a world where everyone can access the products, period education and period-friendly infrastructure need­ed.

She said consistent engagement enhances their academic perfor­mance and opens up future career opportunities and lay a foundation for economic independence.

She was of the view that addressing menstrual hygiene helps normalise menstruation and reduce the stigma leading to a more inclusive and sup­portive educational environment for all students

Ms Kumaza said period poverty worsens the already existing barriers to girls’ education especially in rural Ghana, explaining that many girls lack access to menstrual hygiene products, adequate sanitation facili­ties and accurate information about menstruation.

She said in 2021, she started an ini­tiative known as ‘Her Period Matters’ and distributed over 3000 sanitary pads and organised educational work­shops.

“These efforts not only help with immediate needs but also empower girls with knowledge about their bod­ies, challenging taboos and enhance their confidence,” Ms Kumaza said.

She said the initiative had worked with five schools in the Northern re­gional capital, Tamale with monthly distributions of sanitary pads, adding that “we have moved on to setting up pad banks in collaboration with school authorities.

She called on government to abol­ish taxes on menstrual products and make it freely available in schools, saying that when implemented, it would ensure that menstruation would not impede the education of girls.

 By Jemima Esinam Kuatsinu

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