Yesterday 28th.May was World Menstrual Hygiene Day 2020. The theme for this year is “Periods in Pandemic”. The main idea behind marking this day is to change the social stigma associated with menstruation. Our action as Cherie Wilshire Foundation is reaching more girls in all rural areas we serve about menstruation.
Statistics of women in their reproductive years.
The female population in Uganda is approximately 50% according to (2014 Population Census). Almost 24% of these women are adolescents between 10-19 years and go through menstruation every month for between 3-7 days.
In most parts of Africa and Uganda in particular, menstruation remains a taboo and it’s rarely discussed in public. Due to these myths, the challenges encountered by girls and adolescents during menstruation stay with them and affect them without getting enough help.
Most of these adolescent girls are from rural and less privileged families who are unable to buy sanitary materials and pads compared to those in wealth and urban families. This is one of the major reasons why one in every four rural adolescent girls drop out of school because of menstrual-related problems.
As Cherie Wilshire Foundation, we are teaching girls and boys that changes in their bodies are normal and as a result, the boys in schools and families are also becoming supportive to their female friends and siblings by making reusable sanitary pads for them through our pieces of training in schools and communities.
We also go ahead to give out free reusable sanitary pads for use by girls and as a reference while making more pads on their own.
Through this year’s theme of “Periods in Pandemic,” we’re continuing to recruit and keeping girls in school because” Educated women invest back into their communities” especially in encouraging their children to study.
With more funding, we hope to reach more rural and indigenous communities to break barriers of proper menstrual hygiene among girls of school-going age so that they can continue and finish studies in school.