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Many Girls Missing School Due To Issues Relating To Menstruation - GES   
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Too many girls are missing school and their future because of misinformation, myths and harmful practices that relate to menstruation, the Ghana Education Service (GES) has said.

That, it said was because menstruation was still one of the silent topics that was not discussed in homes and that both fathers and mothers shied away from the topic while girls often struggled to obtain the necessary information about menstruation.

“About 26 per cent of the global population menstruates between two and seven days each month. That’s 3000 days in a lifetime and seven million girls and women in Ghana,” a statement signed by the Head of the Public Relations Unit of the GES, Mrs Cassandra Twum Ampofo, on the occasion to mark the 2019 Menstrual Hygiene Day which falls on May 28 every year said.

It said the GES in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, the Ministry of Health/Ghana Health Service, the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources and several partners will today commemorate the 2019 Menstrual Hygiene Day.

“Menstrual hygiene materials, especially the disposable ones come at very high-cost to girls and parents alike. Psychological trauma and lack of confidence during menstruation also negatively affect Ghanaian girls. Menstruation matters to everyone, everywhere and it is a natural phenomenon which should be talked about.

Menstruation should not be a barrier for girls to participate in school and community life,” it said.

For this reason, the statement said since 2014, the world has been celebrating Menstrual Hygiene Day which takes place on May 28 of every year, and that it was a global advocacy platform that aimed at promoting good menstrual hygiene management practices and raised awareness of the challenges all women and girls faced.

The theme for this year is: “It’s Time for Action”, with a focus on Menstrual Hygiene Management Education.

“Menstruation affects women and girls differently depending on social norms, customs, education, geography and social economic factors. Each month women and girls need to manage this with dignity, whether they are at home, school at work or when traveling.

“Women and girls with disabilities often have special needs and requirements to enable them to manage their menstruation in a normal and dignified way”.

Many girls and women, the statement said did not have adequate access to the requisite type of materials to manage their periods which sometimes caused infections.

It cited the inappropriate use of cloth and newspapers.

“To ensure that there are no more limits for women and girls, because of their menstruation, it is time for more concrete action. Action can come in all different forms, with government educating girls and boys, facilitating Menstrual Hygiene Management, reducing the cost of donating menstrual hygiene materials to girls.

“This year’s commemoration wil raise awareness on the importance of Menstrual Hygiene Management for an enabling environment for women and girls and strengthen stakeholder commitment to MHM interventions,” it said.

The GES is leading this commemoration with the active involvement of several partners that have contributed to the support of MHM in Ghana, including UNICEF, Global Affairs Canada, Korea International Cooperation, Greater Accra Municipal Area Sanitation and Water Project, World Bank, Worl Vision Ghana, Water Aid Ghana, Days for Girls, Global Communities and USAID.

We continue to call on women, men, boys and girls act and ensure that girls are comfortable and supported during menstruation and empowered. This included having access to information and right materials to manage their periods and having access to safe, private clean toilets in their communities, schools and at home.
Source: Daily Graphic

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