Whether they are living in urban areas or rural areas of Uganda school-going girls get harassed by stigma or taboos associated with menstruation.

The stigmatization and making menstruation taboo aside, many girls are still unable to afford sanitary pads which causes period poverty.

Nandolo Tracy, (15), from Bukose Junior School in Buyende district, had no idea what was happening when she first started her menstruation period.

She said, “When I saw blood, I thought I had been stabbed with some sharp object.”

Owing to uncomfortablity, when Tracy found blood on her clothes, she felt ashamed and was too afraid to go to school for fear, others-especially boys would mock her. She said that when she got to the shop to purchase sanitary pads, she could not afford pads because they were expensive and when she told her mother, she was given rags to use in handling her menstruation period.

This story is not limited to girls like Tracy who stay in rural areas, it goes ahead to disturb poor girls in urban areas due to embarrassment they endure while in menstruation periods. Most of the girls who are yet to start menstruation, are oblivious about it.

Regardless of where it happens, menstruation stigma and taboos, lack of right information on menstruation and lack of sanitary pads to handle menstruation periods takes a major toll on girls’ lives because it impacts on their self-esteem and can lead to them missing out on school.

For those in Uganda’s poorest communities, it can mean dropping out of education completely, leaving them at greater risk of child marriage, early pregnancy and exploitation.

It’s clear that if we want girls across Uganda to reach their full potential, then we must tackle the taboos and stigmatization that surround menstruation periods, recognizing that this is both a cause and consequence of gender inequality yet it is very crucial in achievement of sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Breaking the silence on menstruation

We therefore, run LIDEISA Pads Girls’ Education for Global Goals (LIGEGG) campaign through which we aim to address menstrual hygiene management needs in schools.

To tackle myths, misconceptions, misinformation, and negative cultural attitudes associated with menstruation often perpetrated by boys and male teachers, LIDEISA engages and sensitizes them to encourage them to “support girls instead of mocking them.”

After addressing the root causes of toxic trio issues; lack of right information/education, stigma and shame that surround menstruation periods, LIDEISA moves on to tackle access to sanitary pads through donating LIDEISA reusable sanitary pads among school girls. The ultimate objective of LIGEGG campaign is to curb school girls’ absenteeism attributed to menstruation.

How School Girls Are Harassed By Menstruation And Our Intervention In Uganda

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