Following reports of young girls committing suicide with thousands of others skipping classes due to menstrual shame, a non-governmental organization has launched an awareness campaign aimed at curbing the incidents.
Speaking at Musembe primary school in Lugari Sub County during a ceremony to launch the ‘Red Line’ Campaign which is aimed at fighting menstrual stigma, Ms. Khayanga Wasike the “Days for Girls” country’s liaison officer regretted challenges the girls were going through during menstruation period especially in the rural areas
She said it was regrettable that a number of girls had committed suicide in various parts of the country after being shamed for soiling their dresses for lack of sanitary pads.
Ms. Khayanga appealed to all stakeholders to join hands and help the Days for Girls organization eradicate the false notion surrounding menstruation, which she observed
had developed deep roots adding that it was everyone’s responsibility to fight the stigma to save lives of young girls.
“We are here to share the Red Line Campaign and say no more stigmas around menstruation, no more loss of life and no more shaming around menstruation. We ask everybody to join us in this crusade of bringing to everyone’s knowledge the true story around menstruation because we believe that we are all related to menstruation and it affects both men and women,” said Ms. Khayanga.
She said it was important to openly talk about menstruation and break the cultural taboo around it which many have grown up with believing that it’s a shame and something that you cannot tell anyone about.
She said due to this taboo, many girls have been afraid of sharing with their parents even when they are suffering and sometimes when they have no pads some of them opt to risk their lives by engaging in sexual activities so that they can get money to buy pads.
“This has led to some of the girls getting pregnant and other getting infected with various sexually transmitted diseases at a tender age. We have really lost a very good generation of girls through this which is so dangerous,” said Ms. Khayanga
During the event, the Days for Girls organization through the Lugari Resource center under the Willing Hearts International Society of Canada (WHISCA) donated washable sanitary pads to girls in Musembe primary and Secondary schools.
According to Ms. Khayanga the washable sanitary pads which cost Ksh. 650 each can be used for several years before being disposed of.
Lugari Sub County Principal Education Officer Phylis Shitanda hailed the organization for supplementing the government in supporting the girl.
She challenged the girls to work harder in their academics as an appreciation to the support. “Our girls will not miss school any longer and hopefully they will perform better in their academics,” said Mrs. Shitanda.