We’ll Continue to Improve Healthy Menstrual Practices – Women Affairs Minister Assures
The Federal Government has bowed to double its efforts in ensuring the improvement of healthy hygienic practices among Nigerian women and girls.
The Honourable Minister of Women Affairs, Barrister (Mrs) Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye stated this during a National Dialogue on Menstrual Health and Hygiene Management (MHHM) for girls and women which was held today in Abuja.
Organized by the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs (FMWA ) in collaboration with development partners, the National Dialogue with the theme; “Accelerating Efforts for Eradicating Menstrual Poverty in Nigeria” is aimed at canvassing for more actions, commitment and investments in menstrual health practices among girls in Nigeria.
The dialogue is also organized to allow stakeholders to deliberate on the challenges undermining menstrual health and hygiene management with a view to providing feasible solutions towards eradicating them.
Presenting her speech, Tlthe Honourable Minister described menstrual or period as lack of access to proper menstrual products and the education needed to use them effectively by women during their monthly ‘call of the nature.’
She added that, the government has since introduced several measures in order to curb this problem that can be described as ‘thorn in the flesh’ of many women including girls in Nigeria.
“As part of federal government efforts to tackle this problem, we have been engaging girls on a series of trainings on how to manufacture reusable sanitary pads from local fabrics within their environment that can last for two-three years.
“The government is also reducing taxes on all sanitary products in order to reduce its cost. Not only that, there is also awareness and sensitization programs in order to enlighten the society, particularly women and girls about this issue which is still ongoing.” Kennedy-Ohanenye added.
During a paper presentation titled; “Menstrual Health and Hygiene Management in Nigeria,” the Assistant Director , Health Desk of FMWA, Mrs Mariam F. Shaibu, emphasized that, about 52million women and young girls in Nigeria are experiencing menstruation.
According to her, one out of every ten girls in Nigeria miss school for 48 days every year due to lack of access to sanitary pads.
She said; “This lack of sanitary pads makes our girls vulnerable to gender discrimination, child marriage, exclusion, domestic violence, poverty and other health problems.”
Meanwhile, development partners present at the event tasked stakeholders to support Nigerian institutions in raising awareness and providing measures towards achievement of best health hygienic practices during menstruation.
Furthermore, they equally tasked the government to develop a policy document that will pave way for girls and women to have adequate access to sanitary pads across schools and other public places whenever the need arise.