It is a little disheartening that despite all the information out there, menstruation still gets a bad rep. A natural event that is experienced by most women, People with all levels of education and exposure continue to stigmatise women and girls for a natural occurrence that most women experience. The stigma goes to show how devoid of empathy the society at large can be when it comes to women’s issues.
According to World Bank, over 500 million girls lack access to menstrual products and adequate facilities for menstrual hygiene management (MHM). Unlike boys, girls are faced with social & economic inequality arising from poor menstrual health and hygiene. But not everyone is content with this.
One of the women championing a change of perspective when it comes to menstruation and universal access to sanitary care is Karo Omu, founder of Sanitary Aid Initiative– a sanitary pad provision initiative for young girls.
Sharing her experience with menstruation stigma with millions of women on Twitter, she decided to address the challenge of the short supply of sanitary towels to underprivileged girls in rural areas. Founded in 2017, her initiative has provided free, essential sanitary materials to economically disadvantaged girls in primary and secondary schools girls.
Karo understands that education is just as important interventions and that is why she has recently published a children’s picture book ‘THE LITTLE RED SPOT’, about menstruation, that explores the emotions 10-year-old Ivy experiences when she has her first period.
Karo hopes that her book will help young girls discover menstruation in language they can assimilate and enable them have conversations about menstruation that are devoid of shame.
Thankfully, countries like Scotland which was the first country to offer period products free of charge on a national scale are leading the cause of ending period poverty. Other countries include New Zealand and Kenya, they also distribute products for free in public schools.
For more perspectives on menstruation, we also recommend Eniola Akinyemi’s ‘TRIP TO WOMANHOOD’. This book explores the curiosity of a young girl & acts as a young girl’s guide to puberty. It explains, in a fun way, the developmental changes that occur from being a girl to being a woman.