Menstrual Hygiene Day is a call to action – WiWASH

The Professional Network of Women in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WiWASH), has observed that Menstrual Hygiene Day should be seen as a call to action and not a mere commemoration.

That was because menstrual health is a fundamental human right key to achieving gender equality.

It said cultural barriers, taboos and traditions associated with menstruation lead to the exclusion and vulnerability of women and girls and should be discouraged.

‘As we observe Menstrual Hygiene Day, let us reaffirm our commitment to breaking the silence, challenging the stigma, and promoting menstrual health, and hygiene for all.

‘Let us work together to create a world where every individual can manage their menstruation safely, with dignity and without discrimination,’ Mrs Serena Kwakye-Mintah, the Vice President of WiWASH, added.

She was speaking during an event in Wa to mark this year’s Menstrual Hygiene Day on the theme: ‘Together for a Period Friendly Ghana’.

It was celebrated with school children from the Wa Methodist Sc
hool for the Blind, Fongo E/A, Catholic and Tendamba Basic Schools, amidst poetry recitals and drama on menstrual hygiene management and stigma.

WiWASH, in partnership with the Ghana Water Ladies Association also donated assorted menstrual hygiene materials including 20 boxes of sanitary pads, five boxes of cake soap, and five gallons of liquid soap among others to the schools.

Mrs Kwakye-Mintah advocated for increased investment in school WASH infrastructure to cater for the privacy and dignity of girls and women in schools.

She also called for increased investment in making sanitary products more affordable to girls and women through means including the removal of the 20 per cent tax on single-use menstrual pads.

She explained that inadequate sanitary facilities had adverse effects on girls’ experiences at school and resulted in absenteeism among girls during menstruation while some dropped out of school.

Mrs Kwakye-Mintah said it was for that reason that WiWASH, for the past five years, had provided m
enstrual hygiene education and donated menstrual hygiene materials to some schools in the country including those around the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) treatment plants.

The Very Reverend Isaac Justice Arhin-Yorke, the Bishop’s Deputy of the Wa-Bolgatanga Mission Diocese of the Methodist Church Ghana, assured the people that the church would continue to advocate against menstruation-related stigma.

Madam Florence Gamuo, the Headmistress of the Wa Methodist School for the Blind, expressed gratitude to WiWASH for choosing to celebrate Menstrual Hygiene Day in the school and to support the school with menstrual hygiene education and materials.

Mr Suleyman Mujeeb, the Public Relations Officer of the Wa Municipal Education Directorate, thanked the WiWASH for the support and gave the assurance that the education directorate would continue to partner with WiWASH and other organisations that sought to support education in the municipality.

Madam Paulina Zuuri, the Health Promotion Officer of the Wa Munici
pal Health Directorate, educated the children on menstrual hygiene management.

Source: Ghana News Agency