Julia Kamarenga DRIMIOPSIS - Namibia joined the rest of world in commemorating Menstrual Health and Hygiene Day, May 28, here in the Kalahari Constituency of the Omaheke Region. The day, initiated by Wash United, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) in Germany, was first observed in 2014 to create a world in which every woman and adolescent girl can manage her menstruation in a healthy and hygienic way, in privacy and with dignity. This year, the day was commemorated under the theme, “empowerment through menstrual hygiene management”. This year’s commemoration aims to break the silence and build awareness about the fundamental role that good menstrual health and hygiene management plays in enabling women and girls to reach their full potential. Menstruation has always been one of the factors affecting girls negatively during their menstrual cycle due to non-conducive environments at schools, and sometimes in the households. In a statement read on her behalf, the Deputy Minister of Health and Social Services, Juliet Kavetuna, stated that, “non-conducive environments at schools and sometimes in the households, lack of facilities and commodities such as sanitary pads, as well as lack of understanding of this natural phenomena among our young boys and men affects the girls and women negatively.” Kavetuna further called on government agencies, development partners, civil society organisations and all other stakeholders to ensure that schools are menstruation friendly to encourage our girls to remain at school and become equally successful in life as their fellow male learners. Various speakers emphasised that “menstruation is a normal process in a women’s life, which requires respect and privacy”. Rachel Odede, the UNICEF representative to Namibia said, “the global community, including Namibia has committed to a set of Sustainable Development Goals, such as Goal 3, which speaks to ‘Good Health’; Goal 4 ‘ Quality Education’; Goal 5 ‘Gender Equality’ and Goal 6 ‘Clean Water and Sanitation’. The goals aims to end poverty protect the environment and ensure prosperity for all people including women and adolescent girls. For girls, menstruation is not by choice, it has to be. * Julia Kamarenga is an Information Officer with the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology based in Gobabis.
2018-05-30 09:30:39 3 months ago