#HappyFlow Monday: What do you envision for young girls and women in your country in terms of menstrual hygiene rights?

This Happy Flow Monday, we asked network Members what they envision for young girls and women in their country in terms of menstrual hygiene rights.

Members from all over the continent shared their insights and vision for those in their country who menstruate.

Have you signed the petition for free sanitary wear for all who need it? If not, sign it here!

 

Jessica Dalitso Mandanda – Malawi

I envision young girls and women in Malawi being free from stigma and myths around menstruation, the freedom to be educated and empowered without the umbrella of the shame associated with menstruation. I see girls and women with unlimited access to menstrual hygiene and sanitary kits, I see a Malawi that prioritizes menstrual health and rights and women’s rights.

Rosina Amesho – Namibia

I envision a society without barriers for women and girls to access affordable and adequate menstrual products and hygiene management. However to achieve this, we need to first realize and address the negative impacts of silence, stigma and ongoing taboos related to menstruation that leads to  woman and girls being   excluded from participating in every-day activities, thus denying them their basic human rights:  Rights to education, Health as well as Water and Sanitation.

Further, we all need to stop ignoring the fact that monthly period negatively impacts a woman’s ability to go about her life if they don’t have the means, therefore there is a need for active public policies and programmes to address the issue. I however believe that not only woman and girls, but everyone has a role to play in educating themselves and others, creating awareness on menstruation and breaking barriers in ensuring the protection of woman’s dignity and rights and further understanding that menstruation is NOT by any means a choice!

Matilda Deus – Tanzania

I would like to see girls and women freely discuss menstruation issues from the family level, in schools and on different platforms with no stigma attached. I would like to see menstruation no longer treated as a taboo, as well as the government ensuring that menstrual products are available and freely accessible for all girls regardless of their background.

Patricia Humura – Uganda

 The Uganda l would want to see

Menstrual health hygiene should not be ignored by professionals in water, health, education and everyone because

I believe menstrual health (hygiene) is a fundamental right to the dignity and wellbeing of women and girls. It is an important part of their hygiene, sanitation and reproductive health services to which they have their rights. UNICEF reports that in Uganda, 23% of adolescent girls in the age group of 12 to 18 years drop out of school when they begin menstruation. Is this okay? No!

My vision for girls and women is on factors which link together and keep evolving basing on circumstances. They should have free sanitary towels or pads and appropriate facilities for disposing them.

Presence of  water to clean and wash the body both in rural and urban areas  of the country. With my experience of hiking in mountainous regions of the country, water in such regions is not clean and sometimes from very far and unsafe places for a girl to fetch water

In schools and some homes, there is no private space and rooms for girls and women to change their towels. I want to see a Uganda which supports them and which has no taboos, negative cultural practices and stigma associated with.

Nyasha Dhlandhlara – Zimbabwe

Hello, my name is Nyasha. I am a woman and I menstruate. I envision a world in which Menstruation is not regarded as dirty and doesn’t make a young woman feel any less just because they are menstruating. Instead, Menstruation should be celebrated as the rite of passage from being a child into a blossoming woman. In a world where menstrual hygiene rights are respected, every individual should understand that menstruation is part of the package of being a woman. Each young girl should be fully equipped with correct and accurate information about menstruation and should never have to feel scared or alone when menstruating.

Thokozile Sewela Nhlumayo – South Africa

I envision a South Africa where every girl and woman has unlimited access to adequate water and sanitary amenities during menstruation.

A South Africa where young girls will have access to free proper sanitary wear and will not have to use unsafe alternatives.

Where women will not suffer from psychological and social barriers such as privacy issues, shame, embarrassment, cultural taboos and insecurity because of menstruation.

Afia Precious Simpande – Zambia

I envision a world where young women and girls in Zambia are free to experience their natural menstruation without worry about their health and wellness, luck of necessities  needed during the process or shame from their communities. I envision a world where young girls and women can have access to the sanitary towels all at prices they can afford. A world where they have quality products that are not harmful to their health in the long run all at affordable prices and easy access. I envision a world where young girls and women can talk about menstruation without it being seen as a taboo or them being seen as unclean.

In this world, young girls especially the poor will be able to go to school and do all their work freely and with much comfort during their period. The policy makers of our land will amplify policies that allow for all women and girls to enjoy their menstruation days. They shall ensure all necessary WASH and sanitary towels are made available for all.

That I envision for our beautiful mother Zambia!

#ExpectRespect.

Mpulile Henry Matima – Lesotho

I envision a Lesotho were every young girl and woman is provided with free sanitary products. Every health facility, schools and public toilets should be placed sanitary wear. The government should ensure their annual budget caters for free sanitary wear for all who need it.

Larissa Sousa – Mozambique

I envision that young girls and women get access to information on menstrual hygiene rights and better conditions on the following:

– Improved sanitary conditions in schools and public places, with provision with water,

– provision of affordable re-usable pads and or eliminate taxes on pads and menstrual products,

– information dissemination on sexual reproductive health and menstrual hygiene,

– increase lectures around taboos on menstrual periods!

#Wearewhatwedo – let us be the example of what we want to see in the future!

#girlsinspiregirls

Armel Sylva – Comoros

I envision a Comoros where girls won’t be ashamed to say they are menstruating because talking about periods is a vital part of development.

Margaret Wanjiku Munai

Menstrual hygiene is more than just access to sanitary pads and appropriate toilets – though those are important.

My vision is to provide empowerment and well-being of women and girls in Kenya during their menstruation period, ensuring that they live in an environment that values and supports their ability to manage their menstruation with dignity and work hard to ensure that they are able to manage their menstruation in a hygienic way- safely and with privacy.