FCTA partners NGOs to strengthen fight against period poverty

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By Philip Yatai

The Women Affairs Secretariat, Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), says it has partnered with local and international Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to strengthen the fight against period poverty.

The Mandate Secretary of the secretariat, Mrs Adedayo Benjamins-Laniyi, stated this at an event organised to commemorate the 2024 World Menstrual Hygiene Day, in Abuja on Tuesday.

The event was organised by the Women Affaires Secretariat, FCTA, in partnership with ACIOE Foundation, with the theme, “Together for a Period Friendly World”.

Benjamins-Laniyi, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Alhaji Adetoye Kolawole, described period poverty as the lack of access to safe and hygienic menstrual products, including water during monthly periods.

She said that the partnership was designed to take menstrual information, sanitary pad, and other hygiene products to the doorstep of young girls, particularly in communities.

According to him the goal is to reach every girl in the grassroots with all that she needs for a healthy menstrual period.

“We are collaborating with so many NGOs, not only local ones but international NGOs as well.

“These partners are working with us to provide the needed information about menstrual hygiene to our girls and increase their access to sanitary pads and other hygiene products at home and schools.

“What we are doing today is part of the Women Secretariat’s efforts to enlighten young girls to know that menstrual period is normal for all women and what to do when menstruating.

“The need to know what menstrual period is all about, and how to maintain good hygiene practices during menstrual period,” she said.

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Also, Ms Kanyidinofu Oyem, Gender Specialist, ACIOE Foundation, said that the enlightenment campaign was critical to clarify the misconceptions about menstrual period.

Oyem particularly said that some young girls stay out of school because they are menstruating among other taboos associated with the natural monthly circle.

“We go to school where we have vulnerable children. We don’t only talk to them; we share a sanitary pad.

“This is because, it is not enough to just educate them; you must be able to provide access to sanitary products, particularly to those who cannot afford this basic product.

“We also give it to the boys so that they will give it to their sisters at home, particularly the out-of-school girls,” she said.

She added that part of the community outreach was also to train young girls how to make reusable pads considering that not all girls could afford normal pads.

One of the girls at the event, Nina Opeme, a student at Community Secondary School, Asokoro, said that the sensitisation would address stigma associated with menstrual period,

Similarly, a student at Government Secondary School Garki, Umar Aderemi, said that the sensitisation has equipped him with the needed knowledge to support his sisters and friends during their menstrual period.

“Beside I will still be a father in the near future. I will use the knowledge acquired today to educate my daughters about good menstrual hygiene practices,” Aderemi said. (NAN)

Edited by Emmanuel Yashim

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