KIU, Western Campus – According to the 2008 Oxford Handbook of Reproductive Medicine and Family Planning, around 3000 days of menstruation occur in an average woman’s lifetime.
This basically means that a woman has to buy sanitary pads 3,000 times in their life, not an easy cross to bear if you ask me.
The past 3 months have not been easy ones for women in Uganda because of the lockdown imposed by the government in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Most women have lost their privacy or had it limited, which has made it more challenging since they lack enough safe and hygienic spaces to go through their period without shame and discomfort.
For example, most subsidized supply schemes such as free distribution of menstrual tools in schools have been suspended because of the lockdown.
Also, a contraction in resources due to lost or reduced revenues means that not all can afford standard sanitary towels or any sanitary towels at all, yet it is essential for them to access these menstruation tools to overcome the social stigmas associated with menstruation in Uganda.
WASH United, the German organization which founded and organizes Menstrual Hygiene Day created this year’s theme as #PeriodsInPandemics, highlighting the fact that though business is on a standstill because of the lockdown, menstrual periods continue like clockwork.
So, much as we are concentrating on fighting off the pandemic, we should not forget the plight of millions of girls in Uganda, whose periods cannot stop because of the lockdown, and highlight and create awareness about their plight.
The same way the country has rallied together to create a food relief fund can be used to provide free sanitary pads for girls in communities around the country.
You may be lucky to afford sanitary pads but remember just as millions are going hungry, so do many girls out there have to go through the embarrassment and shame of experiencing a period without having the right menstrual tools.
Additional information from the Independent newspaper, UK
Picture credit: Internet photo