Happy Flow Monday - It's time for action!

This year's theme for Menstrual Hygiene Day is 'It's Time For Action'.

We asked Network members: How are you going to ACT as an individual ?

Mandi Piyasi

Having grown up in a rural area, I have experienced and witnessed the use of unhealthy materials (pieces of cloth) during menstrual periods. This era of hard economic conditions has worsened the plight of girls in rural communities as they cannot afford a pack of sanitary wear for the month. This is leading to most girls missing out on school which is a threat to the girl’s future. With this year’s theme, “It’s Time for Action”, I plan to teach girl child parliamentarians on the need to speak and advocate for the provision of free sanitary wear to school-going girls, especially when they convene for Junior Parliament sessions. Subsidizing sanitary wear on tax is not enough and more advocacy initiatives should be around the provision of ‘Free’ sanitary wear. The girl’s voice should be at the forefront so as to make impact. I also intend to demystify the myths around menstruation by coming up with girls caucus meetings. I intend to do so by educating them on self confidence during their menstrual cycle.

Rugare Shalom Zimunya

I work with a lot of young girls and I have realised that there is a lot of information around menstruation that girls do not know about. At the same time there is a lot of social stigma around menstruation which leads to negative outcomes for girls in terms of hygiene during menstruation. Because no one else in the home has to know about their period, the girls are not able to hang the reusable sanitary pads out in direct sunlight, which in turn has health implications. So I have planned to talk to girls in communities that I work in about menstruation ; emphasising that it is a normal aspect of a girl's life and one they should be proud of and embrace. I believe that once we address the stigma around menstruation, and every girl feels confident to talk about it, we will begin to have healthier and more open discussions around it. We will also then be able to address issues around hygiene in terms of taking care of their product of choice.

I hope to also foster a movement among other people to do the same in their communities, across Africa and the globe at large.

We menstruate and that's a very normal aspect of life! I want to see every girl embracing this and not seeing it as a negative attribute.

Mpho Maema

I am celebrating it on 24th May together with Her Royal Highness Princess Sekhothali Seeiso & Mandela Washington Fellows of 2018. We are going to a semi-rural school hosting three hundred pupils, and we will educate them on menstrual hygiene issues, their rights and motivate them.

Afia Precious Simpande

Menstruation has been shunned for far too long. Menstruation matters haven't been given due attention as deserved! Talks about Menstrual hygiene and sanitary wear have been told and seem like old tales which are forgotten after a short while. But this year 2019, I say enough is enough. Menstruation is not a taboo. NO - it's natural and healthy! Dignity in Menstruation deserves maximum attention. It's a global concern. It affects everyone in the end. Menstrual hygiene and sanitary wear are not tales to be forgotten but words to be spoken loudly to the present and to generations to come. Menstruation is a concern for all. I'm taking a stance to speak to all the younger boys and girls around me about menstruation. I'm taking a stance to speak to older men and women about menstruation. Menstruation is for all of us. Equity Together we will highlight the significance of menstruation and matters surrounding it to the global community. Menstruation matters Period! Its time to Act now!! #Happyflow #ExpectRespect

Patricia Kajumba

It’s time for action.

My aim is to consistently keep active and vocal about Menstrual Hygiene and go on with advocating for Menstrual Health Rights in Uganda and Africa as a whole. I intend to point out how advancing Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights includes considering Menstrual Health Rights as well in various sectors of the world’s development. I am looking at expanding the Twekonyere Project by taking Menstrual Hygiene classes to other rural areas of Hoima district. In relation to this, I look forward to engaging with more individuals and organizations working around MHM such that I can attain more knowledge about various concepts such as advocacy, accountability, research, sanitary products and sustainability among many others.
I will generally take on actions that in one way or another contribute to making Menstrual Health Rights real in Africa.

Busiku Handema

With this year's theme "It's Time For Action", as project lead compaign for SAFGI, I take action by advocating for free sanitary wear and partnering with different individuals at grassroots to take action in their community. Lacking sanitary wear is a threat to a girl's safety, it affects her health and mental state. I respond to help those who need it in every way possible, so you too should stand up from your grassroots to push for free sanitary wear. As safety first for girls we believe every girl deserves a first responder who sees her - someone who understands her need for free sanitary wear if she is to feel safe.

Have you signed the petition to make Menstrual Hygiene free for all who need it? If not, sign it here! Participate in the quiz and you could win great prizes!