Saturday, May 28th is Menstrual Hygiene Day (MHD) again. Still necessary? Yes! Menstruation can be a life-restricting monthly event for women and girls in Uganda, and has a negative impact on daily activities and self esteem. Seven facts to illustrate that an initiative like MHD is still needed.
Millions of girls living in developing countries like Uganda skip up to 20% of the school year simply because they cannot afford to buy mainstream sanitary products when they menstruate.
Women and girls in East Africa commonly use alternative materials to manage their periods such as banana fibres, old cloths, wood, sand/soil, handkerchiefs, just their underwear or polythene bags.
Ugandan schoolgirls reported concerns around safe disposal of products, believing that witch doctors could place curses on them using their menstrual blood.
On average, Ugandan schoolgirls reported missing 24 days out of 220 learning days in a year; translating into 11% of school days missed due to menstruation. Over half of Ugandan schoolgirls asked stated that the lack of a place to wash or change was affecting their school attendance.
In Western parts of the Ugandan country, cattle owners do not let menstruating women attend to their cows for fear that the milk may turn bloody.
Lack of appropriate products is one of the principle reasons that girls do not attend school during their period in Uganda.
A supply of sanitary pads for one girl in Uganda costs one tenth of the family income – a ‘luxury’ most families cannot afford.
Menstrual Hygiene Day raises awareness of the challenges women and girls worldwide face due to their menstruation and highlights solutions that address these challenges. Sympathize with this event that’s initiated by Wash United? Spread the news via social media by using the hashtag #MenstruationMatters. For more information, visit: Menstrualhygieneday.org/.