Let's talk about periods. Some may choose to call them monthlies or menstrual cycles.
Over the years, lots of awareness has been done in regards to menstrual education and most importantly, menstrual hygiene in Kenya.
It is a fight that continues to be won albeit slowly as more and more people , both male and female are more and more aware of the importance of menstrual health.
Despite the fact that we continue to champion for the same, there have been challenges that have been faced and experienced in the wake of championing for better menstrual hygiene.
One of the biggest challenges lies in the fact that there's little knowledge that is out there with regards to what menstrual hygiene really is.
While some NGOs have taken it upon themselves to educate girls and women about menstruation, there is still little knowledge out there pertaining to issues like period cramps, the period cycle,variety of period products available, preparedness for periods, ovulation and even adverse conditions such as endometriosis.
Over the years, sanitary products especially sanitary towels have become cheaper and more affordable to most people. However, the problem of poor access to safe and affordable methods and materials by ladies and girls who live in marginalised areas still lingers.
Lack of access to materials has led to consequences of poor self esteem and infrequent school attendance faced by girls in these areas as they are forced to use unconventional methods such as sitting in the sand until the cycle passes, use of pieces of cloth as pads,etc.
In some communities, these young girls are pushed to early marriages as the onset of periods is used as a symbol of maturity.
While the Menstrual Health Day approaches,we hope to see better enforcement of policies that will help us be able to get to levels where sanitary products such as pads and tampons are availed freely not just to the less fortunate, but to every woman regardless of age and social standing.