Each year around the world, International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8. Thousands of events occur not just on this day but throughout March to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women. Organizations, governments, charities, educational institutions, women’s groups, corporations and the media celebrate the day. J Initiative joins the world to congratulate women who are doing tremendous things to promote the welfare of women for the simple reason that menstruation related challenges should be a thing of the past among girls who will become women.
Addressing the challenge of over 95% of girls missing school due to their menses and 90% of girls in rural areas and 48-59% of girls in peri-urban areas feeling ashamed during their period among girls in Ghana. The situation in itself constitutes violence against girls and it is essential girls are empowered to reduce menstruation related infections and reinforce girls’ self-esteem, an important element for their success in education. J Initiative (JI) is calling on every stakeholder including parents and male siblings to be protectors of girls and not being perpetrators of this form of violence against girls.
JI joins others to congratulate women even as they mark the International Women’s Day globally and also call on them to work hard to keep their focus on making investment in menstrual hygiene happen by drawing attention to the challenges, practices and benefits of menstrual hygiene experienced by girls. The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day calls for some stock taking .
It also goes with the question that how well are we doing if 90% of girls miss out on school due to menstruation related challenges. It provides us with an opportunity to step back to evaluate the advancements that have been made not only in girl’s rights, but in ensuring that an enabling environment exists where girls can achieve their optimal development with full support of boys. It is an opportunity to educate ourselves on the impact gender has on society and to consider what support systems and frameworks need to be established to allow boys and girls to become true partners working together towards development. A person’s sex should not dictate what that individual can become or what they can contribute to their society and country in future.
Let us do our best in ensuring that affordable or free sanitary towels are made available to girls and boys are educated to understand their role in ensuring that they offer their support.