By Jumah Nsubuga
According to a study by the Netherlands Development organization and International Water and sanitation centre 70% of girls especially in rural areas are affected by menstruation.
Mr Ali Satya Chemisto the advisor for the Netherlands development organization revealed this at the commemoration of the menstrual Hygiene Day held at parliament.
He said that young girls when they reach in menstruation period at schools, they express shy; fear to cooperate with others at schools which greatly affect their studies adding that even other 57% absent themselves from schools due to menstruation.
He called upon government to provide facilities to these young girls affected by menstruation.
Elsewhere civil society groups launched a campaign aimed at finding solutions to stop school drop outs due menstrual periods.
The campaign dubbed; “Girls in control: Keep girls in School, is aimed at calling government to provide free sanitary towels to school going teenagers, and hygiene facilities such as latrines.
The campaign was launched at parliament as one of the events to mark the International Menstrual Hygiene Day aimed at raising awareness about the menstrual challenges and sensitizing stakeholders about re-usable pads.
Mr Chmisto said that primary school girls who are menstruating especially in rural areas have failed to attend to their classes regularly since they cannot afford buying pads while others fear being embarrassed since the rugs they use as pads are unreliable.
Despite menstruation being a natural process that is part of nearly every girl and woman’s life, it is still treated as a taboo in countless cultures and societies across the globe. A profound silence around the topic, combined with a lack of access to information, results in girls and women possessing very little understanding of their own bodies. Many are managing their periods in an unsafe and unhygienic manner, using old rags or other unhygienic and ineffective materials. These problems are exacerbated by limited access to and affordability of hygienic products, safe and private sanitation facilities, inconsistent supplies of water for personal hygiene, and inadequate disposal options.
Menstruating girls and women often feel ashamed and embarrassed about themselves, exacerbating the silence because they would rather keep it a secret than talk about it. Facing health problems and socio-cultural taboos surrounding their periods, they become isolated from family, school, and their communities. Women and girls miss school and productive work days, thus falling behind their male counterparts.