According to the UN WOMEN, a United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and theEmpowerment of Women12.8% of women and girls worldwide live in poverty. 

The cost of menstrual products and their added taxes leave many without ways to safely manage their menstruation periods. In different parts of the world, women are charged taxes when buying feminine products including sanitary pads.

One needs to remember that due to poverty, when menstruation comes, some women and girls resort to using toilet papers, newspapers, plastic bags, stockings/socks, clothes, rags, etc.

This leaves our dear mothers, sisters, aunties, name them deeply affected by their periods.

We need to end period shaming, poverty, and discrimination because these affect women and girls’ physical and mental well-being.

In some societies and cultures, menstruation is perceived as unclean and embarrassing. Some cultures prohibit  even the mentioning of menstruation whether in public or in families. For how long shall we keep in this? Don’t we know that menstruation is normal and part of our lives?

Let’s ensure that these women and girls are treated well during the menstruation period and also help them to access affordable and tax-free sustainable sanitary products.

 In Bushenyi district, western Uganda, a sanitary products factory has been planned and construction is in offing. Thanks to Hon. Mary Karooro Okurut, the Bushenyi district woman representative in Parliament of Uganda. 

I have seen and heard my sister, Hope Nankunda a counsellor, and founder of Raising Teenagers Uganda, at work of stopping the menstrual stigma in Uganda. A round of applause to her! You and I can do something.

We can work together to widen access to menstrual hygiene management and sanitary facilities in all places.

Achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls is Sustainable Development Goal number five(5).

 It seeks to end all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere, eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation.

If we keep our mothers and sisters under the yoke of menstrual stigma and we keep silent on what gives them bad days, we shall have discriminated against them. This will be counted on us not far from today.

Let’s pay more attention to what affects our helpers.

Zadock Amanyisa

Journalist and Public Relations Practitioner