Menstrual hygiene is vital to the empowerment and well-being of women and girls worldwide. It is not just access to sanitary pads and other WASH necessities, it is ensuring women and girls live in environments that value and support them, environments that enhance their ability to manage menstruation with dignity.
The World Menstruation Day celebrated on Saturday, May 28th, 2022 under the theme “To create a world where no woman or girl is held back because they menstruate, by 2030”, was aimed at highlighting the importance of menstrual care and equally raising awareness on the social issues and challenges faced by women during menstruation.
The main objective of this year’s celebration was to eradicate period stigma and social discrimination as well as to ensure everyone has access to menstrual products of their choice.
To commemorate the celebrations, LUKMEF carried out sensitization activities in the Littoral Region (at Atlantic Secondary school Bonaberi, Douala), the Northwest Region (at City of Commerce College (C.C.C) Mankon, Bamenda), and the Southwest Region (Mile 1 Kumba).
These sensitization activities focused on what menstruation is, the significance of Menstrual Hygiene Day, good menstrual hygiene practices, how to calculate the menstrual cycle, and a practical demonstration on how to properly insert a pad. Alongside these, LUKMEF seized the opportunity to carry out contextualized sensitization on Gender-Based Violence, its prevalence enablers, and associated response mechanisms.
This activity gave students and other participants the opportunity to voice their worries and receive appropriate responses in areas of understanding the menstrual cycle and menstruation management. At the end of the event, LUKMEF distributed dignity kits to girls containing washable pads, pants, hand sanitizer, soap, toothpaste, and face masks.
In the Littoral region, LUKMEF reached 103 girls and 65 boys during the sensitization campaign. Combined with 287 girls and 12 boys in the Northwest and 80 persons in the Southwest region, LUKMEF reached a total of 547 persons during her International Menstrual Hygiene Day commemoration activities.
These sensitizations acted as a wake-up call for some boys who consider menstruation a taboo and make fun of girls while on their period. It should be noted that a lack of proper hygiene during menstruation may lead to vaginal infections.