Ending period poverty

In the free world, menstrual hygiene has been very difficult to practise among young girls and women, especially in confined places like prisons and IDP camps. This is a sad story to begin 2021; however, a reminder of our sad realities that leads to happy solutions is not a frivolous venture. In a country of over 2.6 million displaced people, with major numbers of them being females, one would definitely lose grip of the number of people who have difficulties with feeding and shelter and other basic necessities of life, not to mention those who can’t afford sanitary materials for their menstrual cycle.

Nigerian Correctional Services which has 1,250 female inmates out of a total population of 65,824 inmates isn’t left out of this mess as one of the inmates said, “less attention is given to female inmates by the public, so we get the same thing as our male counterparts while there’s a pretense as if menstruation doesn’t exist here, so we rely on our relatives, NGOs or pay exorbitant prices to get sanitary materials here.”

In the outside community, menstruation was not a socially acceptable topic until lately. So, it’s understandable to see why we are still discussing the topic in 2021. Nigeria took its first step in putting an end to the menace called period poverty in late 2019 when a motion was passed in the House of Representatives calling for the subsidization of sanitary materials. The government should look at the reusable pads as a viable form of empowering women in these areas and also helping them maintain a healthy hygiene.

Abass Oyeyemi,

oyeyemiabass@yahoo.com

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