Menstruation is intrinsically related to human dignity. When people cannot access safe bathing facilities and safe and effective means of managing their menstrual hygiene, they are not able to manage their menstruation with dignity. Menstruation-related teasing, exclusion and shame also undermine the principle of human dignity.
This has prompted an Obuasi based Non-Governmental Organisation Self-love Foundation to call for a legislation on Menstruation which will protect women from discrimination in the Society.
Speaking at a sensitization program organised by Self-love Foundation for girls at Binsere in Obuasi to mark this year’s World Menstrual Hygiene Day, Hannah Sarpong a member of the NGO said it is worrying to find out that some girls and women are barred from accessing certain facilities in some parts of the country when they menstruate. Describing it as worrying, Mrs Sarpong said it also constitutes an infringement on their fundamental human rights.
She said to put to bed myths and taboos surrounding menstruation, there is the need for a shift in discussion targeted at having legislation on Menstruation as part of human rights. She however called for initial engagements involving Chiefs, religious leaders and Members of Parliament on the subject matter.
Touching on the theme for this year’s World Menstrual Hygiene Day is “Making menstruation a normal fact of life by 2030”, The President of the NGO Hillary Ekuoba Gyasi said her organisation has over the years being at the forefront of advocacy which is essential in the quest to demystify issues on Menstruation and make it a natural bodily process.
She said ” Our NGO believes that to make menstruation a normal fact of life there is the need for a sustained education to ensure that people do not see menstruation as a taboo. Again, we believe that continous education will ensure that issues of menstruation are always openly discussed “.
The President of Self-love Foundation revealed that they decided to celebrate the World Menstrual Hygiene Day with the people of Binsere to focus the education on the rural areas since most of the activities taken place during the day are centered in the cities.
To improve access to Sanitary pads, Miss Ekuoba Gyasi called on Government to reduce taxes on sanitary pads to make it affordable for the less privileged in the society. She also called for the use of Menstrual caps which are affordable and last longer.
Sally Osei-Tieku, a Midwife at the AGA Health Foundation said parents have a role to pay in educating their girls on safe menstruation.
She said ” it is unfortunate most parents shirk their responsibilities by leaving the education on menstrual hygiene to only the teachers. As they say charity begins at home so parents should teach their children how to observe menstrual hygiene “.
The NGO also presented sanitary pads to school girls and members of the Binsere community.