Madam Afua Yankson, Acting Western Regional Director of the Commission for Human Rights and Administration Justice (CHRAJ) has implored stakeholders to intensify education about proper menstrual hygiene to avoid menstrual stigma among girls.
According to her, all, including boys and men needed to be fed with basic information about menstruation to better understand and support their female counterparts to go through the period safely.
Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency on the sidelines of the Menstrual Hygiene Day celebration in Takoradi, Madam Yankson called on stakeholders to ensure that every girl had access period-friendly water, sanitation and hygiene facilities.
The Menstrual Hygiene Day is celebrated to raise awareness about the importance of menstrual hygiene management for women and adolescent girls worldwide.
The theme for this year’s celebration was “Action and Investment in Menstrual Hygiene and Health”.
Madam Yankson underscored the importance of the celebration and said globally, many women and girls were unable to reach their potentials as a result of poor menstrual hygiene.
She said the celebration sought to break the silence, raise awareness and change negative social norms about menstrual health and hygiene, to advocate and cooperate with governments to ensure that hygiene products were more accessible.
Madam Yankson noted that girls faced challenges during menstruation due to persisting taboos and stigma, limited access to and non-availability of hygienic menstrual products and sanitation infrastructure.
Others are the lack of education on menstrual hygiene which undermined the educational, health and overall social status of women and girls around the world.
She encouraged Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), school authorities, landlords/landladies and business owners to provide a proper place of convenience where girls could change their pads periodically and proper disposal facilities to dispose of the used pads after changing.
Madam Yankson said there was the need to empower girls and women to manage their menstruation safely, hygienically, with confidence and without shame, adding that, a woman or girl must not be held back because she menstruates.
She, therefore, urged parents to teach their children about menstruation at the right age, provide items needed to handle it during the cycle and encourage them to maintain regular bathing during the cycle.
She cautioned women and girls to desist from using concoctions but consult a doctor or pharmacist for the appropriate medication, and refuted the myth that having sex during the cycle prevented pains, noting that having sex during menstrual period, could result in teenage pregnancies.