Menstrual Hygiene: Foundation Advocates Access To Sanitary Pads

Adinya Arise Foundation (AAF), an NGO, has advocated for access to sanitary pads by women and young girls in the country, saying this will help protect their dignity.

The director, AAF, Mrs Mabel Ade, made the call at a policy dialogue in commemoration of the International Menstrual Hygiene Day, themed: Bridging Widening Gender Gap in Education Through „Pad A Girl A Month“ school initiative, held in Abuja.

Menstrual Hygiene Day is an annual awareness day on May 28 to highlight the importance of good menstrual hygiene management.

Ade said AAF is an organisation that has its core objective on women empowerment, with maternal health as one of its key objective.

Menstruation is a very important aspect of maternal health. We cannot do anything without dealing with issues surrounding menstruation and that is the reason why as an organisation, we have given very high importance to menstruation health.

“Another reason why we decided on the topic “Pad A Girl A Month” is because going around the country, you will discovered that women are facing quite a lot of challenges.

“Some of these challenges are around coping with poverty. When there is poverty and you want to prioritise, you want to spend money, it becomes very difficult. It is difficult to prioritise menstruation over food for a mother, it is difficult to prioritise pads over children’s school fees and hospital bills for families. It is extremely difficult where you find families that are displaced on account of violence conflict,“ she said.

Ade said her foundation had done a lot on gender issues including drafting an Action Plan for the technical working group on menstruation hygiene health management.

According to her, Nigeria is one great country that has a very good social protection policy that if well implemented, it will take care of issues that relate to poverty, one of such which affects the dignity of a woman and a girl.“

The director, child development department, Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, Mr Ali-Andrew Madugu, appreciated the founder of AAF for what she was doing, and also advocated that pads be made available and accessible to discouraged some girls who stayed away from school because of menstruation issues.

Executive firector, International Society for Media in Public Health (ISMPD), Mrs Moji Makanjuola said Nigerians must begin to encourage manufacturers of hygiene materials, particularly sanitary towels, for more production, so that there won’t be shortage of such products in the country.

She called on the Ministry of Women Affairs to lead the campaign for more production of sanitary towels and other hygiene materials.

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