‘As I Grow’ educates girls on mensuration

As I Grow, an Akuapem-Larteh based Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) in the Akuapem North municipality of the Eastern Region has advanced a strong argument on the need to depart from the long-held perception and orientation within the ecosystem of tradition and culture that menstruation is a  taboo and, therefore, women in their periods should not be entertained.

In the quest to change the narrative, leadership of the NGO on Tuesday organised a conference on the theme: “Beyond the Dream of the Girl”, as part of activities to observe this year’s International Menstrual Hygiene Day.

The sanitary pads distributed

The event, which took place at the Benkum Senior High School in the Akuapem North Municipality of the region brought high profile personalities with strong influence in the society to talk to the students.

The personalities included; Mr. Godfred Arko, Mrs. Rev. Diana Hopeson, Ghanaian gospel singer and a former president of the Musicians Union of Ghana. Others are CEO of As I Grow, Mr. Debrah Bekoe Isaac and Madam Juliana Ako.

They all took the students through topics such as ‘Ways of Empowering Your Dreams’ and ‘Connection, keeping your menstrual life in shape’.

Other topics were choosing the right path in your studies, how to identify yourself, your dreams and carry the dreams along and protecting your dreams and bringing them to reality.

The gathering was treated to cultural performance from Dewu Cultural Troupe that depicted the enviable traditional culture that defines Ghanaian heritage.

In her discussion with the students, Mrs. Rev. Diana Hopeson called on Ghanaians, particularly traditional leaders and men to change their mind set towards the menstruation of the women.

She advocated for a conscious change of certain cultural practices, including the neglect of the girl-child or seeing women as unclean during their menstrual period.

According to her, some years ago, there was no proper or hygienic way of observing the menstrual period as women were using pieces of cloth and other bizarre materials.

But in this day and age, there are proper and hygienic materials that women use without even noticing that they are in their menses.

She disclosed that some young and old men have taken advantage of young girls who cannot afford to purchase sanitary pads to sleep with them.

The singer further hinted that many young school going girls have become truant and lose their self-confidence during that part of the month because they cannot afford the purchase of sanitary pads.

Addressing the issue of pad for sex, the award-winning gospel musician charged parents to be responsible for the provision of sanitary pads for their children.

On her part, Madam Juliana Ako took the students, particularly the girls, through the fixing of pads firmly on their pants in order to reduce the tendencies of spillage, leading to staining themselves.

She charged the girls and women in general to consciously practice changing their pads at least two times in the day, as well as bathing when they are menstruating.

Madam Ako advised the young girls not to buy pads based on the brand or how colourful the pad looks, but should rather look out for quality.

The CEO of As I Grow, Mr. Debrah Bekoe Isaac told this reporter that even though the day was World Menstrual Day, his office decided to add the conference to holistically look at the development of the girl-child.

The conference, to him, will not only teach the girls about their menstrual conditions, but identify their dreams and how to shape those dreams. Hundreds of sanitary pads running into thousands of cedis were distributed to the young girls at the end of the conference.


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