For Nigerian girls, especially the vulnerable ones to maintain menstrual health hygiene by having access to sanitary pads, there’s a need for a national policy for the removal of tax on pads and availability of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facilities in Schools.
To this end, female Lawmakers must rise to the task of sponsoring the bill to achieve the above in the Assemblies floors as representatives saddled with the responsibility of championing the cause of womenfolk.
This was the submission of stakeholders at the virtual interactive session organised by the wife of Ondo State governor, Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu to commemorate this year’s World Menstrual hygiene day with the theme: “Stepping up Action for Menstrual Hygiene and Health”.
In her remarks, Mrs Akeredolu advocated provision of water and toilet facilities in Schools aside removal of tax on sanitary pads, saying “Menstrual hygiene is closely associated with WASH, is closely related with water in schools; many schools in this country don’t have toilet facilities. They don’t have running water. So in such a school, girls will skip classes when they’re menstruating; government should look into it”.
She emphasised the need to create awareness among girls on how they can maintain menstrual hygiene, especially the use of the reusable pads which they could solely produce in their various homes, a skill which over 1500 girls acquired at the BEMORE SUMMER BOOTCAMP, an initiative of the Ondo First Lady.
Mrs Akeredolu used the medium to call on female Lawmakers in Nigeria to raise their voices towards assisting the young girls to afford sanitary pads, and stressed the need to also address the misinformation, taboos and myths surrounding menstruation in our society, stating that ”no menstruation, no babies”.
Appreciating the role of science at liberating women from stigma and suffering associated with reproduction through the provision of sanitary pads and contraptives, the Ondo First Lady advocated the inclusion of more girls in science and technology sectors.
She hinted that a digitally empowered and educated woman would know the importance of menstrual health hygiene, exclusive breastfeeding, and antenatal care.
She added that her passion to produce female technological leaders birthed the BEMORE SUMMER BOOTCAMP where over 1,500 girls had been trained in ICT, Solar, and other life-enhancing skills.
A guest speaker, Miss Pamela Elekwachi emphasised the need for government to partner with industries that produce pads and invest in their companies in order to reduce the price of the products.
Another Guest Speaker, Miss Marvelous Jegede showcased the reusable pads she made, one of the skills she acquired at the BEMORE Bootcamp.
She advised her peers to learn making the reusable pads if they can’t afford to buy the ones at the supermarkets, affirming that it’s eco-friendly, and hygienic.
Mary Agidi, Special Assistant Media.