Time for legislation to check discrimination against menstruating women-NGO

Obuasi (Ash), May 31, GNA – Self-love Foundation, an Obuasi based Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) focusing on girls and women empowerment, is advocating for legislation to check stigmatisation and discrimination against menstruating women.

The organisation believes that menstruation is intrinsically related to human dignity and that conscious efforts must be made to introduce concrete measures to protect women from menstruation-related teasing and exclusion which undermines the principle of human dignity.

Mrs. Hannah Sarpong, a Legal Practitioner and leading member of the Foundation who made the call, said it was worrying that some women were barred from accessing certain facilities in some parts of the country when menstruating.

She was speaking at a sensitisation programme on menstrual hygiene for girls at Binsere in Obuasi to mark this year’s World Menstruation Hygiene Day.

Mrs. Sarpong said the blatant discrimination against women constituted an infringement on their fundamental human rights and stressed the need to begin conversation about legislation to protect women.

She however called for initial engagements with chiefs, religious leaders and Members of Parliament on the subject matter.

Ms Hillary Ekuoba Gyasi, President of the NGO said her organisation had been at the forefront of advocacy to demystify the myths surrounding menstruation for people to accept that menstruation was not a taboo.

“We belief that continuous education will ensure that issues of menstruation are always discussed openly,” she noted.

She said they chose to mark the day in a rural area where they could make significant impact, saying that most of the celebrations were centered in the cities and urban areas.

She called on the government to take steps to reduce taxes on sanitary pads to make them affordable for the less privileged in society.

Ms. Sally Osei-Tieku, a Midwife at the AGA Health Foundation said parents had a role to play in educating their girls on safe menstruation.

“It is unfortunate most parents shirk their responsibilities by leaving the education on menstrual to only teachers. As they say charity begins at home so parents should teach their children how to observe menstrual hygiene,” she advised.

Source: Ghana News Agency