Entrench policies to end menstrual poverty, international organisations tell FG

The Federal Government has been advised by an organization, Plan International Nigeria, to put in place policies that would end menstrual poverty and facilitate continuous learning of the girl child.

The County Director, Plan International, Charles Usie, said this in Abuja at a National Dialogue on Menstrual Health and Hygiene held on Thursday.

The dialogue themed, ‘Accelerating Efforts for Eradicating Menstrual Poverty’, was held in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, UNESCO Plan International and other partners.

Usie, who was represented by Helen Idiong, Director of Programme Quality and Influencing of Plan International said there was a need for an increase in donor funding that would enable girls and women, especially those in the rural communities to have access to menstrual facilities.

He noted that menstruation is an integral part of a woman’s life but is a nightmare for the over 1.2 billion women across the world, who do not have access to basic sanitation during their periods.

According to him, the government must ensure that policies are put in place and also resources that will cascade to those at the grassroots.

According to Usie, these policies must include the construction of WASH facilities in schools as well as setting aside a certain portion of funds that goes to schools for the procurement of menstrual products.

He said, “It is appalling to see what girls are going through during their menstrual period, especially those in the schools.

”Apart from lack of facilities that are gender friendly – facilities that support them when they are undergoing their monthly period, we also found out they don’t even have resources like menstrual pads to use during those periods.

”Some have had to stay back at home and not come to school during their menstrual periods and society still sees menstruation as a taboo,” he said.

Usie said the situation is also very worrisome, adding, “We have just concluded the project and the intervention was able to take girls back to school because our mandate is to ensure we achieve equality for girls.”

According to him, stakeholders must come together to break the silence of menstrual poverty in the country.

He said, “The issue of breaking the silence is essential. Donor funding is limited but if the government sees this as a priority, a lot of things will be achieved.

“Apart from making policies and enforcing them, the government has the resources to put these infrastructures in schools.

“They can work with partners that are already doing that because we understand that if girls are to stay in school we must tackle this menstrual poverty.”


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