As part of activities commemorating 2020 World Menstrual Hygiene Day, the federal government has launched the distribution of one million sanitary pads to women and teenage girls across the country and to also cushion the effect of COIVD-19.
The Minister of Women Affairs, Ms. Pauline Tallen, launched the project at Kado village, Friday in Abuja, with support from Water Supply Sanitation and Collaborative Council (WSSCC) and other stakeholders.
The minister lamented lack of access to menstrual health and hygiene products, education and sanitation facilities by women and teenage girls.
She stated: “The project tagged “One Million Pads Distribution Project” is aimed at adolescent girls in all states of the federation.
“This project is hinged on the fact that girls’ and women’s choices of menstrual hygiene materials are often limited by costs, availability and social norms. Therefore, providing access to feminine hygiene products will go a long way to solve the problem to a great extent.”
On her part, WSSCC National Coordinator, Ms. Elizabeth Jeiyol, urged all stakeholders to team up to change the negative social norms surrounding menstruation.
She acknowledged that COVID-19 pandemic had further worsened access to menstrual management materials,
Jeiyol said: “Poor knowledge and understanding of menstruation may lead to unsafe hygienic practices for women and girls. It is not a gender thing – but a basic human right issue – and together we can empower all women and girls to realize their full potentials everywhere in the world.
“There is no gainsaying the fact that effective menstrual hygiene has direct and indirect effects on the overall well-being of women and girls – in the context of education, empowerment and health.
“However, women and girls face continuous mental, physical and health traumas during their periods – as a result of discriminatory social norms, cultural taboos, supernatural beliefs, gender inequality, and limited access to basic services such as WASH facilities in private and public spaces which leads to ‘Period Poverty’ for women and girls across the world – especially in developing countries like Nigeria.”