Days for Girls, a Non-Governmental Organisation has organised an educational forum for girls on how to be punctual in school and be hygienic during periods of menstruation as part of its celebration to mark International Menstrual Hygiene Day.
The celebration, held at the Integrated Community Center for Employable Skills, a vocational school in Dodowa, distributed washable sanitary pads for the girls and educated them as well as the boys on personal hygiene, puberty and the menstrual cycle.
As part of the education, a documentary was shown on the level of ignorance on menstruation and the use of sanitary pads in some parts of the world.
In the documentary, some people had not heard nor seen sanitary pads before, girls and women in their menstrual periods were not allowed to enter a temple, cook, go to work nor school while some men thought menstruation was an ailment.
Ms Appiah Boakye, the Country Director of the NGO speaking on the theme: “Its Time for Action!” said the NGO observed that many girls had never been taught anything on menstruation neither in school or at home and so felt very frightened and uncomfortable during the first experience.
She said they also learned that many girls subjected themselves to sexual abuse just to get money to purchase sanitary pads to enable them to go to school.
This she said was unfortunate and called on parents, teachers, individuals, health practitioners and organisations to intensify the education on menstruation and hygiene as well as the consequences that could follow menstruation if girls did not protect themselves from men.
The girls were advised to keep themselves neat and dry while menstruating while the boys were asked to desist from stigmatising girls because they were menstruating.
Mrs Cynthia Cato-Anderson, a Girls’ Education Officer at the Ghana Education Service, Shai-Osudoku District said the Service was concerned with girls and menstruation and had initiated a programme to sensitise them on menstrual hygiene.
She advised adolescents to totally abstain from sexual relations as it had negative implications on their wellbeing and future.