Much still has to be done in Cameroon to ensure that women and girls are able to overcome period poverty as well as understand how to manage their menstrual cycles.
The world celebrated menstrual hygiene day on May 28, with a focus on ways to stop discrimination towards girls and women.
According to Bihnwi Pamela in Douala, many women are still facing stigma and deprivation, as a result of menstruation.
“The knowledge of menstrual hygiene is still very far from most girls as they aren’t taught at home by their parents” Pamela points out.
“They don’t know what it means, how to manage the situation, or even how to communicate it. They don’t know about sanitary pads let alone having access to them.”
Besides creating awareness on World Menstrual Hygiene Day, Pamela highlights that knowledge on menstrual hygiene needs to be given wider attention.
“Parents should be encouraged to discuss it with their girl children at tender ages so that they know these things and have their minds ready, so that when the changes finally come they can better manage the situation and also talk about it freely.”
During this year’s celebration of the menstrual hygiene day on Sunday, May 28, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Executive Director Natalia Kanem said “A girl’s first period should be a happy fact of life, a sign of coming of age with dignity.”
She added that “The girl should have access to everything necessary to understand and care for her body and attend school without stigma or shame.”
According to the Word Bank, at least 500 million women and girls across the world lack access to the facilities they need during their periods.
UN Women adds that more than 2.25 billion women and girls worldwide have no safe private toilet to go to.
Source: Cameroon News Agency