Polycom Development Project brought together over 1000 adolescent girls on 28th May to commemorate World’s Menstrual Hygiene day. They girls discussed the challenges they face during their menses which included, access to sanitary napkins due to lack of money, they high cost of the towels, lack of privacy in their homes as big girls, dirty toilets both at home and in most schools, and lack of proper ways of disposing the used sanitary towels which have become environmental menace.
There was a suggestion for the girls to adapt menstrual caps which was discussed and ruled out due to the level of hygiene required to avoid infections. The girls discussed how most of them have accessed the pads but are not able to use them because they have no water to was their hands as they go into the toilets and even after visiting the toilets. There was also a concern on how to sterilize the caps after use, still this is due to lack of water in the ablution blocks and containers at home apart from the ones that are used in the kitchens. The young women also raised concerns of myths and misconceptions surrounding the menstruation that have made it a no go zone subject.
A Woman member of the county Assembly joined into the discussion and promised to draft a bill in the lower house to push for the effect of law on withdrawal of tax on sanitary napkins. The girls were engaged in a discussion on careless disposal of used pads which create plate for haters to abuse the young girls on their way to school reducing and in some cases killing their self esteem.
There were entertainments, live demonstrations on usage and personal hygiene, questions and answers were very participatory. Songs around girls and women pride were sang for and by the girls making the event very colourful.
Sanitary towels work of US $ 980 dollars were distributed, all the girls in attendance received a packed on sanitary towels, Thanks to all your support, girls lives are getting better day by day.
Anyango Jane Odongo,
Polycom Development Project.