Menstruation occurs naturally in females; however, it has been a very taboo subject which may have hindered female effectively managing their menstrual cycle. UNICEF is hoping to change all that and as such conducted a study on menstrual hygiene management last year. Today, UNICEF launched the findings of the study at the Radisson Fort George Hotel. Love news stopped by and spoke with Paulette Wade, Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist for UNICEF who said that they want to ensure that girls and boys understand what menstrual hygiene is and how to manage it.
Paulette Wade, Monitoring & Evaluation Specialist, UNICEF: “What we found out is that most schools have bathroom facilities. Where there is a gap is in terms of the number of bathrooms per student. In terms of having proper facilities for girls to be able to manage their menstruation. The girls would need to know that there is soap in the bathroom, you need to ensure that you have toilet paper, you need to ensure that there is pad, you also need to ensure that there is bins to be able to properly dispose of the waste products. So those are some of the gaps that we notice in terms of the bathrooms. In terms of the shops, we notice that the more rural you go, the less likely you will find the product. If you go to the urban centers you have six, seven, eight varieties as shown inside but when you go rurally sometimes you can’t even find one pack on the shelves.”
Jonelle McKenzie, Reporter: “Talk to us about the stigma associated with menstruation.”
Paulette Wade, Monitoring & Evaluation Specialist, UNICEF: “Well the stigma is that it should be a secret as we know and girls shouldn’t be put aside or girls should be endure this in silence, in secrecy, nobody knows that they are having their menstruation but I think that what we need to do is remove that taboo and to understand that menstruation is a natural part of the development process of a girl and so it shouldn’t be kept in secret because that is how you make girls vulnerable to other things like gender based violence, early unions and all these sort of negative outcomes for girls because we do not provide them with the necessary education.”
Many students who participated in the study attended today’s launch.