Menstruation is a difficult enough subject in the West – embarrassment and fear makes education and open discussion difficult. But imagine what it is like to be a young girl growing up in Uganda where menstruation is treated as a curse and the lack of materials means they cannot attend school during their periods because they have no sanitary products. And where adult women can be subjected to violence from their husbands when sex is denied by menstruation.
Event industry charity Meetings Needs has partnered with the Mission for Community Development (MCODE) in Kampala to help fund a menstrual hygiene management project for 650 young girls at a cost of £2500.
In addition to the distribution of sanitary products to the most needy adolescent girls, MCODE also encourages and empowers girls to openly speak out about problems caused by menstruation.
MCODE Executive Director Deo Lubanga Kayondo said: “We carry this out in rural schools where there is still need to sensitise not only the girls but the whole community including boys, the teachers and parents to have open discussion with their children about menstruation. Currently, this natural occurrence is considered to be a curse, a taboo, not worthy to be discussed in public. Through this we want to change the ideologies of rural people about menstruation. Men still even beat up their women when they are denied sex when a woman is in her periods”.