AsaaseHealth

Menstrual Hygiene Day: Naa Ashorkor, two others donate sanitary pads to school girls

The exercise forms part of a menstrual hygiene project being undertaken by the April Foundation as the world marks menstrual hygiene day on Saturday 28 May 2022

April Foundation led by radio personality Naa Ashorkor in partnership with YAZZ sanitary pads and the Medical Women Association of Ghana donated sanitary pads to basic school girls at the Christ Faith Mission School in Frafraha in the Greater Accra Region.

The exercise forms part of a menstrual hygiene project being undertaken by the foundation as the world marks menstrual hygiene day on Saturday 28 May 2022.

In an interview with Asaase News, Ashorkor explained that “this will be my first time participating in any menstrual project. I have always wanted to do this; I remember as a young girl we didn’t have many initiatives like this to talk about menstrual hygiene or even get proper education on things that happen on our bodies as women.”

According to the host of Between Hours on Asaase Radio, this initiative was inspired by how much she learned about menstrual hygiene when an organisation donated pads to her school when she was in junior high.

“When I got to JSS 3, my school brought people from Always Sanitary Pad to talk to us and also give us free sanitary pads. That was the first time I got proper education on menstruation and menstrual hygiene and that one talk was all that I needed to know,” she said.

Menstrual stigmatisation

Lack of access to period products like sanitary towels often causes shame and leads to stigmatisation of periods, as well as causing girls to fall behind on their class work.

“At a time, we didn’t want to talk about menstruation, we always wanted to hide it when it happens. During my time the boys were not allowed to partake in the discussion and only girls with breast were allowed to listen. I felt it wasn’t right because the people who were stigmatising girls were boys,” the actress said.

“So, during this event today the most important thing for me, was to have the boys come in and listen also because these boys have sisters who they stigmatise.”

Sex for pads

“We are hoping that bringing both the boys and girls together to have this talk will prevent certain occurrences like sex for pads, we’ve heard too many stories.

“Girls from low income communities are having sex so that they can buy sanitary pads. I don’t have to tell you how bad this is,” Ashorkor said.

Interventions

Naa Ashorkor added that the initiative seeks to improve the attendance of the girls in school during their period as some stay out of school over their inability to purchase sanitary pads during such time of the month.

“I am hoping that this is the first intervention which will start many interventions to help girls get all of the sanitary care that they need during their periods.

“Not just sanitary pads but also providing clean washroom facilities where the girls can change during their periods. A lot of girls don’t come to school during their periods, a lot of girls can’t sit in class because they have only one pad and they don’t want to sit down so that it will get into their clothes,” she said.

“They will come to school and kneel down the whole time or stand in the corner the whole time or they sit with half their buttocks the whole time, it doesn’t have to be like this.”

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