WALVIS BAY - The Walvis Bay Urban constituency office along sponsors Shoprite and Lil-Lets on Monday launched the ‘Keep a Girl in School’ campaign aimed at providing sanitary pads for needy girls in various schools.
The project also handed out sanitary pads worth N$40 000 to needy schoolgirls at Tutaleni Primary School at Walvis Bay. Walvis Bay Urban constituency councillor Knowledge Ipinge said Li-Lets together with Shoprite is driving an in-store initiative whereby they will donate a pack of sanitary pads for every pack bought in store. According to Ipinge, girls skipping school, because they are menstruating and cannot afford sanitary products are a common issue across the country and elsewhere in the world. “Period poverty is known to share a close relationship with the stigmatization of menstruation in many of our households and communities. Many low-income women and girls face challenges while trying to afford menstrual products and hygiene and which, in turn, heightens their economic vulnerability and social stigmatisation,” he said.
He added the campaign has the potential to grow and accelerate the conversation on period poverty and menstrual stigma in Namibia. “This conversation will ensure that fewer girls miss school due to periods or being humiliated and bullied. Thus, I am glad that Lil-Lets and Shoprite have taken the initiative in helping us address this challenge girls and women are facing. Patron of the campaign, Monica Pinehas, popularly known as Top Cheri, also said myths around menstruation should be addressed, especially in households, so that girls are not stigmatised.
“Menstruation does not mean a woman or girl child’s life should stop or that she should be ashamed. It should also not stop her from going to school with the fear of being teased or due to the fact that she cannot afford sanitary pads,” said Pinehas. She also shared her own experience on how menstruation was hard for her to talk about at home seeing that she was the only girl among her brothers.
“Now you girls have each other to talk about menstruation openly and help each other,” she said.