A Social Development and Gender Superintendent, Mavis Nana Yaa Kyei, at AngloGold Ashanti (AGA) – a multi-national gold mining company, has advised female students to understand the cycle of menstruation as a normal development in the female anatomy.
Nana Yaa Kyei has underscored that during the period of menstruation, some young girls abandon school and stay home for three days and miss instructional hours – a challenge she noted has a toll on their academic performance.
This anomaly, the AGA authority underscored, is the reason AGA takes education seriously, and has invested so much into the sector and supporting the Ghana Education Service (GES) to step up education for girls to have confidence during the period of their menstruation.
She made these statements when she spoke to the media on the sidelines of World Menstrual Hygiene Day, which was commemorated at Christ the King Senior High School at Obuasi, Ashanti, on the theme: ‘Making Menstruation a Normal Fact of Life by 2030’, a day set aside by the UN to talk about menstruation, and address challenges associated with it.
Drawn from Pomposo M/A JHS, Kwabenakwa Domeabra Methodist School, Tutuka Methodist School, Asonkore School, Independence, among others, the event was marked by hundreds of students within the catchment of areas of AGA.
AGA, together with its partners such as GIZ and other institutions, shared sanitary towels to the ladies.
“When the girls are menstruating, they feel so shy to mingle among their colleagues, and this affects them when they grow up; and so we want to address this stigma by educating the girls to understand the process of menstruation is normal part of life,” she said
According to her, by 2030, UN wants menstruation to be a normal development in our societies which is devoid of myth or stigma, so that women would be able to muster confidence and courage to talk about menstruation.
Ahead of the launch of AGA’s Socio-Economic Development Plan, she hinted that women empowerment is largely enshrined in the said plan which would be launched very soon.
Nana Yaa Kyei said if they look at their gender plan, all these things fit into it by building the confidence of the girls, encourage them to participate at all levels, and encourage them to be influential at every stage they find themselves.
The District Director of Health for Obuasi East, Dolphin Gborgblorvor, also observed that the event seeks to teach female students the importance of being hygienic during menstruation period and correct some of the misconception about menstruation, adding that they do not want the girl-child to stay at home because she is going through menstrual bleeding.
Demystifying some of the misconceptions about menstruation, Gborgblorvor mentioned that the idea that sex reduces menstrual cramps is wrong as some men use that as a bait to lure these small girls into sexual intercourse.
She said: “There is a misconception that there is a specific number of days within which one must have her menstrual flow, which is not true. Everybody has a unique body constitution. Some have it for three days, five and seven days. Any of them is fine. If you feel that yours is not coming well, it is better to seek a medical advice than taking concoction and the likes, hoping to force the menses to come plenty and clean.”
On her part, Hannah Aiddo Acquah, an assistant director at Obuasi East Assembly, who chaired the programme and stood in for the District Chief Executive for the district, stated that women or ladies they do not have real changing room when they are menstruating
According to Ms. Aiddo Acquah, even among women, some do not want others to see them in such a situation, recommending that it would be very good for ladies to have a changing room for such purpose.
This recommendation, she noted, will enable girls or women to take their time to change, and this makes them feel confident.