Girls' Menstruation Education Empowerment: Society's Role in Supporting Girls' in Education
Menstruation is painful and can cause embarrassment and inconvenience if not handled appropriately. In education, young girls need more prudence and support through their menstruation. For this to be achieved everyone has to give a hand.
Menstruation commences at the age of 10 – 16 years. It begins with ovulation which causes a thick lining to develop around the uterine wall. If the ovum doesn’t get fertilised, the lining disintegrates 12 – 14 days from ovulation. It comes out as blood called menstruate through the vaginal opening. It occurs once every 4 weeks and lasts 3 - 7 days.
Lack of access to safe and hygienic menstrual products can have significant impacts, especially on girls' education. According to research, 49% of girls have skipped a whole day of school due to their periods, and out of those, 59% have resorted to fabricating excuses to avoid attending school. This results in approximately 137,700 children in the UK missing school annually due to period poverty.
Menstruation Education: How Can Everyone Help Girls?
They’re several ways people living around school going girls can help them feel comfortable as they go through menstruation. Menstruation during puberty or for the first time comes randomly. This may lead to unpredicted inconvenience if a girl’s clothes get blood attained. Girls are advised to immediately approach any adult around for help. The public too should receive with open hands, all girls in need of help on menstruation.
Menstruation brings abdominal pain caused by contraction of the uterus as it shades off the developed walls. Parents and guardians are therefore advised to teach their daughters different ways of reducing the pain. These include; lying down and relaxing while breathing slowly and deeply, slowly rolling a hot water bottle over the belly, using fingers for stroking the belly back, taking pain killers among others.
Addressing the challenges during girls' menstrual cycle:
To address these challenges, schools and communities can provide menstrual cycle health education. Schools are also encouraged to acquire extra uniforms for girls undergoing menstruation. These will be meant for girls with heavy periods which might stain their uniform. In addition, the public should encourage young menstruating girls to take fluids like juice and water to replenish the lost fluids.
Community leaders should also organize a donation based funding project to provide free reusable pads to school going girls since some parents aren’t able to afford pads for their daughters. This is caused by a hand to mouth type of economy which is very common in Africa.
Credit to TED
Menstruation Education Empowerment:The Detrimental Impact of Menstruation Stigma on Girls' Education
Menstruation is looked at as a source of humor and an abnormality by mostly men and boys in society. This leads to depression among menstruating school going girls further leading to poor performance in class. Volunteers should rise and advise people in public gatherings on the impact caused by negative reaction to menstruation. Health education on menstruation can also help dispel common myths and stigmas surrounding menstruation.
Concerned people should stop myths from being spread by malicious members of the public that menstruation is a sign that a girl is ready for sex. This willing guard against early pregnancy which would lead to school dropout.
Menstrual Hygiene Day is a worldwide initiative that unites non-profit organizations, government agencies, individuals, businesses, and the media to advocate for improved menstrual health and hygiene (MHH). MHH is celebrated on May 28th every year. Its primary objectives are to challenge taboos, raise awareness, and transform negative societal attitudes surrounding MHH. Additionally, MH Day actively involves policymakers to enhance the political importance of MHH and drive tangible actions at global, national, and local levels.
Sustainable Menstrual Hygiene Solutions for School Girls: Education and Support
In order to tackle the challenges faced by girls who cannot afford menstrual hygiene products, we propose the implementation of homemade reusable pads and accessible public distribution, complemented by nutritional support and psychological counseling.
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What is your opinion on implementing comprehensive menstrual health education in schools?
A) It is necessary to empower young people with knowledge about menstruation.
B) Parents should be solely responsible for educating their children about menstruation.
C) It is unnecessary and may make students uncomfortable.
D) I'm not sure/I have no opinion.
Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!
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The SaGG Foundation (Sponsor a Gambian Girl) is a girl’s education movement, with aim of championing the cause for girl child education in The Gambia. Education is a basic human right; our vision is to advocate and champion for girls' education.