Chal­leng­ing myths about men­stru­a­tion

Girl power

Daily Trust - - DIGEST - By Judd-Leonard Okafor

Civil so­ci­ety groups are in a year­long cam­paign to raise aware­ness about men­strual hy­giene, and have be­gun by tar­get­ing young girls in schools.

It comes amidst con­cern that the age of first men­stru­a­tion is re­duc­ing among girls. One civil so­ci­ety group found girls as young as eight years old al­ready hav­ing their men­strual cy­cle in Abuja.

“Dur­ing our time, our cy­cles started late. These days at eight, nine, they are al­ready hav­ing cy­cles,” said Jamila Isa, founder of the El-Meela Her­itage Sup­port Foun­da­tion (ELMHSF)

“Men­stru­a­tion comes early in their life. It is nec­es­sary they get in­for­ma­tion so they will get into trou­ble,” said Nnenna Emedolibe, speak­ing on be­half of the Glo­ria Shoda, pres­i­dent of the Na­tional Coun­cil of Women’s So­ci­eties.

EL-MHSF first en­coun­tered girls as young as eight al­ready see­ing their pe­riod dur­ing an out­reach on Day of the African Child. It has taken the Day of the Girl Child for the group to tar­get 50 ju­nior-sec­ondary school-age girls at Model Sec­ondary School in Maitama with a cam­paign to en­sure open­ness about men­strual cy­cle and habits to pro­mote men­strual hy­giene.

It comes amidst con­cern that lack of ac­cess to men­strual hy­giene in­creas­ingly con­trib­utes to girls stay­ing ab­sent from school, drop­ping out com­pletely and even­tu­ally miss­ing their en­try into the work force. The cam­paign is “WithHer: A Skilled Gir­lForce”

From among men­strual kits dis­trib­uted among the school girls, a fa­cil­i­ta­tor held up a pad, and in slow step by step stripped it open and demon­strated how girls are meant to use it.

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