Tackling the menstrual taboo

03 June 2019 | Columns

It is a common fact that many young girls in our country cannot afford sanitary products.

This often forces them to miss school due to this problem, while many others resort to using matrasses, pillow stuffing, dried leaves and cotton cloths when they menstruate, simply because sanitary products are out of their reach. Although much has been said about this issue, including at the recently celebrated Menstrual Hygiene Day, where calls were made for an end to the harmful traditional practices used by women and girls when they menstruate, there is still little action on providing free sanitary products to the schoolgoing girl child. Many of you will also recall that in 2016 some female parliamentarians shied away from debating the provision of free feminine hygiene products to needy schoolgirls. The motion was tabled by PDM leader McHenry Venaani, who said it was important to remind those who consider the issue taboo that all matters that require developmental intervention are “the issues of MPs”. Surprisingly, female MPs were not keen on discussing the matter after Venaani concluded his motivation. As a nation we need to break this menstrual taboo for good, considering the persistent harmful socio-cultural norms, stigma and misconceptions that lead to the exclusion and discrimination of women and young girls. We are sitting with an estimated 150 000 Namibians girls that cannot afford sanitary products. Can you imagine the impact this has on their young lives? It is truly unimaginable to see women and young girls using fabric, including T-shirts and socks, or newspapers, which can be harmful, at worst, and embarrassing and unhygienic. There should be much bigger efforts to eradicate this problem. Although a new Namibian-made reusable sanitary product could significantly ease the monthly struggle of girls, who unable to afford disposable sanitary pads, government must take the lead and roll out the provision of free sanitary pads in schools, in order to help girls who struggle to buy their own.

Similar News

 

Respect is a two-way street

1 day - 17 September 2019 | Columns

Octavia Tsibes Imagine being kind, humble and respectful. You have nothing to lose, and as a matter of fact, it costs you nothing to be...

Satisfaction with democracy

2 days ago - 16 September 2019 | Columns

Namibia's desire for democracy stems from discontent with authoritarianism. Collectively, Namibians have more experience with colonial rule than with democracy. After about three decades of...

Award ceremonies and their dynamics

5 days ago - 13 September 2019 | Columns

The Namibian Annual Music Awards (NAMAs) is a community, as well as an award show for professional, independent musicians and labels. It is not an...

Youth taken for a ride

6 days ago - 12 September 2019 | Columns

The odds are heavily stacked against youth leaders within Swapo. A closer analysis of the just-concluded electoral college or pot shows that not a single...

We need to act, now

1 week ago - 11 September 2019 | Columns

The African Continental Free Trade Agreement, which entered into force on 30 May, although not yet ratified by all African states, has been lauded and...

A cautionary tale

1 week ago - 10 September 2019 | Columns

On Friday morning, Africa and the rest of the world woke up to the news of the death of Robert Mugabe. Immediately, media outlets began...

Positivity is a mindset

1 week ago - 10 September 2019 | Columns

Mariselle Stofberg ‘Later’ is a concept that inevitably means spending more time on something than compared to ‘now’. Everything can happen later. We often say:...

Music chose Ndjiharine

1 week ago - 10 September 2019 | Columns

Natasha Ndjiharine I am a student at the University of the Free State, in South Africa. I am currently doing a diploma in music...

Genuine agricultural transformation

1 week ago - 09 September 2019 | Columns

Agriculture is one of the most important sectors in the Namibian economy. Despite the continued effects of climate change, Namibia has been blessed with rich,...

Voter apathy among the youth

1 week ago - 09 September 2019 | Columns

Voter registration in Namibia is an independent responsibility, so citizens choose whether they want to register or not. Without any doubt, this will lead to...

Latest News

Legal bullet aimed at cops

1 day - 17 September 2019 | Justice

A Namibian police officer and his bosses are defending a N$3 million lawsuit brought by a grieving mother whose four-year-old son was killed by a...

Botswana boots Namibian refugees

1 day - 17 September 2019 | International

The deportation of 855 Namibian refugees living in Botswana will start today after Botswana nullified their refugee status. The now illegal immigrants have refused...

The next big thing

1 day - 17 September 2019 | People

Elizabeth Joseph #TeamGraduate is a project that was started by Helena Mboti, a Rhodes University alumnus who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in financial...

The next big thing

1 day - 17 September 2019 | People

Elizabeth Joseph #TeamGraduate is a project that was started by Helena Mboti, a Rhodes University alumnus who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in financial accounting...

Our cadre deployment curse

1 day - 17 September 2019 | Opinion

Public enterprises minister Leon Jooste’s frank admission that appointing the right board members to parastatals is pivotal to ensuring their success must have been music...

Respect is a two-way street

1 day - 17 September 2019 | Columns

Octavia Tsibes Imagine being kind, humble and respectful. You have nothing to lose, and as a matter of fact, it costs you nothing to be...

To the brave souls walking...

1 day - 17 September 2019 | Health

The dictionary defines brave as ready to face and endure danger or pain; showing courage. More often than not it is the ‘visible’ bravery that...

HKIA upgrades start, finally

1 day - 17 September 2019 | Transport

The handling capacity of Hosea Kutako International Airport will be doubled by a N$250 million project starting next week to eliminate congestion at Namibia's flagship...

Health services around the clock

1 day - 17 September 2019 | Health

The Katutura health centre, which offers a lifeline to thousands of people each year, will now be operating 24 hours a day, seven days a...

Load More