Its time for Action

Tatenda Rukarwa
Posted October 24, 2019 from Zimbabwe

Sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) are based on the right and the ability of all individuals to decide over their own bodies, and to live healthy and productive lives. Addressing SRHR is the key element in ensuring sustainable development in Menstrual Hygiene Management. Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) is part of the overall efforts within SRHR and has an impact on development as it has implications on the life of girls and women related to health, education, work mobility and security. The lack of proper sanitation facilities and affordable hygiene materials for the use by adolescent girls and women at home, at school and at workplaces, affects their health, their potential to access education, employment, overall safety and quality of life. Many girls and women in low- and middle income countries face various barriers in managing menstruation. Special attention must be given to women and girls in vulnerable situations, and especially to women and girls who have been displaced or affected by emergencies. A multi-sectorial approach in programming on MHM in the developing and promotion of positive attitudes towards MHM is critical if transformative change is to be realised.

MHM is a necessity and yet it is a challenging issue for the girl child. Girls need to receive information on practical ways of managing menses in a girl friendly environment and hygienic way. Formal menstruation education is grossly inadequate in most schools and communities in Zimbabwe although some education is provided informally in some schools, particularly private schools. Teachers and mothers were identified as the main sources of information on MHM. However, information on MHM given by mothers can sometimes be incomplete and incorrect, and is usually based on cultural myths, personal experiences and views, which may result in false perceptions and unsafe practices regarding menstruation. It is evident from the results that MHM cannot be tackled effectively without the active involvement of men. Men control resources and make decisions on how these are spent; their involvement would ensure that MHM is adequately catered for in families. Community and religious leaders also have an important role to play especially in the demystification of beliefs and practices that might have a negative bearing on the promotion of MHM. The gender unfriendly school culture and infrastructure, and the lack of adequate menstrual protection alternatives and/or clean, safe and private sanitation facilities for girls, undermine their right of privacy, health and education.

This fight needs everyone to ensure that there is free access to sanitary wear in all spaces especially in low-income countries

Comments 29

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Anita Shrestha
Oct 24
Oct 24

Yes dear we should be brave as elephant

Tatenda Rukarwa
Oct 24
Oct 24

I agree with you society needs people like us to make the world know the plight of women

MADELEINE BWENGE
Oct 26
Oct 26

Avec tous mes encouragements ma chère Tatenda. Vous venez d'aborder une problématique assez délicate. Dans nos pays africains la plus part de fois, le dialogue concernant la santé sexuelle et reproductive ont tout simplement ont été considérés comme des sujets tabous. Nos remerciements pour avoir traité d'un tel sujet en faveur des filles et femmes de tout l'univers.

Tatenda Rukarwa
Oct 28
Oct 28

thank you..I hope you will teach me french and that we can collaborate ...

Hello, Tatenda,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). I agree that every stakeholder should support in educating and raising awareness on this matter so girls will have an informed decision on what to do.

Have a great day!

Tatenda Rukarwa
Oct 24
Oct 24

Thank you Karen..Good day to you

You're welcome, dear. :)

Janet Ladd
Oct 24
Oct 24

Tatenda, Thank you for sharing your story. It is an important issue. All women deserve to be informed how to take care of their bodies and to be proud of their bodies. Men can play a role by supporting the women and girls in their families.

Tatenda Rukarwa
Oct 27
Oct 27

Yes we need the men to partake also..thank you

Tarke Edith
Oct 24
Oct 24

Hello dear
I am greatful you share your thoughts with us about sexual and reproductive health
Thank you sister .

Tatenda Rukarwa
Oct 27
Oct 27

Thank you Edith...I hope to share more on this platform

Lisbeth
Oct 24
Oct 24

Hi dear,
It's really great to hear the happenings on MHM in your country. What do you think the way forward for your country? Thanks for sharing and hope you are having a good day.
Kind regards

Tatenda Rukarwa
Oct 27
Oct 27

The way forward for my country is to ensure that we avail sanitary wear in all spaces, work, school, church etc..So that no girl is left behind..Relevant authorities pertaining the well being of community should be involved so that they address these issues. But my worry is I do not know how to go about campaigning for these rights.. I would need help on that.

Lisbeth
Oct 28
Oct 28

I totally agreed! :-)

Tumanjong Miranda
Oct 25
Oct 25

Hi Tatenda,
Thanks for speaking out loud about MHM, it's a fight which must be won. This has brought a lot of low self-esteem among our girls and it's time to intensify the fight. Its time to break some of the norms and traditions which promote these taboos about Menstruation and menstrual hygiene.
Hope you are doing ok!

Tatenda Rukarwa
Oct 27
Oct 27

If we could collaborate as countries to fight this stigma it would mean a lot to the women and girls world wide

MUKABA ZAWADI
Oct 25
Oct 25

is well car the health is very important in the life of an human health

Tatenda Rukarwa
Oct 28
Oct 28

very true

Oluwatoyin Olabisi
Oct 25
Oct 25

Reading your write-up was like I was reading a professional development article.
Excellent, Keep it up
I quite agree with you. There is need to not only involve boys but also break stereotypes about menstruation.
Kindly follow back not only that also
Read about my organization on www.wgcceeo.org
Like us on Facebook-www.facebook.com/@wgcceeo
Keep up the Beautiful Writing

Tatenda Rukarwa
Oct 27
Oct 27

Thank you sister i will definitely follow your organisation..Maybe you might help a sister out..

SeemaKhandale
Oct 25
Oct 25

Thanks for speaking on this topic, much needed.

Queen Sheba D Cisse
Oct 26
Oct 26

Greetings Tatenda, yes your so right. Sadly cultural beliefs and behaviors have not changed as much as we would like them to. We can relate to your story one-hundred percent! Living and working in Senegal we try to stock up on as much supplies for women and girls but it's never enough.
Education is the key only we
adhere to it to be open to learn to educate communities and advance communities and societies forward.
Keep spreading awareness to the issues and launch a campaign addressing the issues and NEEDS mentioned.

Best regards,

Queen Cisse

Tatenda Rukarwa
Oct 27
Oct 27

Thank you Queen....

Queen Sheba D Cisse
Oct 28
Oct 28

your very welcome,

Queen

Spiritedsoul
Oct 27
Oct 27

Hi Tetatenda, Thank you for sharing such a truthful and important story. Welcome to world pulse and I look forward to many more posts from you.
Hugs,
Jess.

Tamarack Verrall
Oct 27
Oct 27

Hi Tatenda,
The work that you and other World Pulse sisters reaching out to girls with this important information is among the most important work being done. For many I imagine it is the first "girl friendly environment" with open and important information and discussion that they have ever had. You make such important points, this new form of information has to come from every sector and with practical materials and facilities that reach low income areas.

Tatenda Rukarwa
Oct 28
Oct 28

Surely that is my main goal to ensure that I get enough resources to help low income countries, hoping such opportunities are availed on this platform..Thank you..Hoping to learn from fellow sisters

chimdirimebere
Oct 27
Oct 27

Dear Tatenda,
I agree with you that the time is now for sensitization and awareness creation to involve our men and boys. They have a big role to play in restoring the dignity of our women and girls in the reproductive age.

That's one area i have passion working in. This should involve a good number of us to help build self confidence in our women and girls.

Thank you for sharing.

Harriet Okoro

Tatenda Rukarwa
Oct 27
Oct 27

Hie Harriet..we sure need to collaborate because we have the same passion...do link up with me on email maybe we can talk more about it..email me on rukarwatatenda@gmail.com