As a woman, I know that menstruation is something that we face every month, but for young girls in Uganda, it is a reality that often comes with challenges. The myths, stigma and harmful gender norms surrounding menstruation make it even more difficult for them to manage their periods.
Imagine missing school or work every month because you don’t have access to menstrual supplies and facilities. For many young girls in Uganda, this is a harsh reality. It not only affects their academic and economic prospects but also their health and dignity. Using cloth or leaves as improvised menstrual hygiene management materials can lead to infections and other health issues. The discomfort and fear of leaks can also lead to distractions and reduced productivity, making it challenging for girls to participate in everyday activities.
The discrimination against those who menstruate in Uganda is rooted in gender inequality. It is saddening to see that cultural and religious traditions around periods are often derived from discriminatory, patriarchal norms about a girl’s status and place in society. Girls are expected to refrain from normal activities such as bathing or cooking and may even be banished from the home during their period. These restrictions and negative attitudes towards menstruation affect girls’ self-esteem and hinder their participation in everyday activities.
We can improve girls’ attendance and performance at school by raising awareness about menstrual health and tackling period-shame. By breaking down taboos and misconceptions around menstruation, we can raise girls’ self-esteem and enable them to fully participate in all aspects of society. Together with local governments and schools, organizations can distribute menstrual hygiene materials in schools and teach girls how to manage their periods, so they feel confident and stay in school.
In conclusion, we need to address the challenges that young people face in managing their periods and raise awareness about menstrual health. By breaking down taboos and misconceptions around menstruation, we can help girls in Uganda feel empowered, confident and capable of fully participating in all aspects of society. Every girl deserves access to necessary facilities and supplies, so they can manage their periods safely, comfortably and with dignity. Let’s work together to make this a reality for every girl in Uganda and beyond.
Written by a
Concerned African Lady
Undo The Taboo campaign seeks to raise awareness and eliminate stigma surrounding menstruation, promote sustainable and eco-friendly menstrual hygiene practices, and advocate for improved access to safe and sustainable sanitation facilities, access to education and the… pic.twitter.com/xr0ICVpy6A
— Humphrey Nabimanya (@HumNabimanya) May 2, 2023