May 28: World Menstrual Hygiene Day

Every year on May 28th, the international community commemorates World Menstrual Hygiene Day. This day aims to break the taboos surrounding menstruation and raise awareness about the importance of good menstrual hygiene for women and girls around the world, particularly in Africa.

Africa facing menstrual insecurity

In Africa, menstrual management remains a major challenge for many women and girls. Menstrual insecurity affects about 1 in 10 girls in sub-Saharan Africa according to UNICEF, depriving them of dignity, education and opportunities.

The causes of this insecurity are multiple:

Poverty: Access to adequate menstrual hygiene products is often out of reach for the poorest women and girls.

Lack of sanitation facilities: Many schools and public places do not have adequate sanitation facilities for hygienic menstrual management.

Taboos and stigma: Menstruation is still often considered a taboo subject in many African cultures, which leads to shame, exclusion and discrimination against women and girls.

Consequences of menstrual insecurity

The consequences of menstrual insecurity are numerous and serious:

School absenteeism: Girls often miss school during their periods due to lack of hygiene products or adequate sanitation facilities. This affects their education and future prospects.

Infections: Lack of menstrual hygiene can lead to urinary and vaginal infections, which can have serious consequences for women’s reproductive health.

Social exclusion: Women and girls who are menstruating may be excluded from certain social and religious activities, which marginalizes and isolates them, affecting their mental, physical and even economic well-being.

Towards better menstrual hygiene for African girls and women

Numerous initiatives are underway to improve menstrual hygiene in Africa. Some possible solutions include:

Distribution of affordable and reusable menstrual hygiene products.

Construction of adequate sanitation facilities in schools and public places.
Integrating reproductive health and menstrual hygiene education into school curricula.

Encouraging research and innovation to develop sustainable solutions adapted to the African context.

Raising awareness and education about menstrual hygiene, breaking taboos and encouraging open dialogue.

Educate women and girls about their bodies and their rights, and empower them to manage their own menstrual health.

Involving men and boys in the fight against menstrual insecurity.

Combating poverty and war to ensure that girls and women affected by these scourges, depending on their geographical location, are safer and have access to quality care, information and menstrual products.

L’Africaine: a committed media for the promotion of health and empowerment of African women

L’Africaine, as a media committed to the promotion of African women, takes its role to heart in raising awareness of this important cause. By publishing informative articles like this one, organizing debates and encouraging dialogue, L’Africaine hopes to help break the silence around menstrual insecurity and create a more inclusive society that respects women’s fundamental rights.

Together, let’s break the taboos and take action so that every woman and girl in Africa can experience her period with dignity and respect for her rights.

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