Girl Up Nigeria, in partnership with Bays Planet Foundation, organised a series of school outreaches across three states of the federation to create awareness on Menstrual Hygiene Management, break the taboos, and end the stigma around menstruation among girls. We did this to commemorate the 2022 Menstrual Hygiene Day, and the states penetrated are Kwara, Ogun and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Menstrual Hygiene Day is annually commemorated on the 28th of May globally. The goal is to highlight the importance of good menstrual hygiene management, and this also brings together non-profit organisations, government agencies, individuals, the private sector, and the media to catalyse advocacy and action toward a world where women and girls are no longer marginalised or deprived of opportunities or dignity because of their monthly periods.
The outreach started in Kwara, where the volunteer team visited Iman Secondary School to share clean hygiene practices during and after menstruation. Owoade Abdurahman Adebayo, Program Manager, Bays Planet Foundation, headed the team. The event was facilitated by Azeezah Idris, Director of Programs, Premium Utilities Educational Services.
Here is an image from Imam Secondary School, Kwara State
From Kwara, the train moved to Ogun State, and Remo Secondary School hosted the team. Girl Up Nigeria‘s Community Engagement Officer for South West Odunayo Ayoola headed the team, and Ogooluwa Ajiboso, National Technical Officer on Gender-based Violence Matters, NiMSA, facilitated it. Here, the students cheered at the exposure to how they could protect themselves better, and we had a great time in the school.
Here is an image from Remo Secondary School, Ogun State
The last stop was at Model Junior Girls Secondary School, Abuja. The Communications Officer for Girl Up Nigeria, Nwaiwu Elizabeth Chiamaka, led the Abuja team, and it was facilitated by Faith Musa, Programs Officer for Menstrual Hygiene NG. During the session, Faith engaged the girls in an interactive question and answer session, debunked some myths about menstruation, and ascertained their knowledge about Menstrual Hygiene.
She gave a response to what a student asked about infrequent menstruation. Here is what the student asked:
Faith responded that their menses would not be constant if kids just started menstruating. They may see it once in two months until their menstrual cycle can regulate itself and stick to defined dates. This would range from 26 days to 30+ days in between. Active athletes may also experience it, but this isn’t a cause to worry, Faith says. It may not be a health challenge because these kids are new to the menstruating experience.
The students talked about some of the challenges they face ranging from lack of water, cost of sanitary pads and period stigma. Faith Musa encouraged them and told them that period isn’t bad, as it is part of the body process.
In total, the outreach benefited over 450 girls.
Here is a gallery of the event: