BY VANESSA GONYE
INTERNATIONAL humanitarian organisation, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) yesterday called for the inclusion of men and boys on menstrual health issues to reduce gender inequality.
The call was made by MSF communications manager, Grace Mavhezha at the belated World Menstrual Hygiene Day commemorations held at their youth centre in Epworth.
“We want to fight stigma and discrimination that has been there for over the years. In most cases, boys and men have been side-lined but now we are involving them so that adolescent sexual reproductive health is sustainable,” Mavhevha said.
World Menstrual Hygiene Day is commemorated annually on May 28.
This year’s theme was: ‘Making Menstruation a Normal Fact of Life by 2030’.
“We also encourage men to take interest, buy pads, give support to the girls to ensure that they also stay in school because in most cases they do not go to school when they are having their menses,” Mavhevha said.
Mavhezha said there was a need to break myths and taboos surrounding menstruation to ensure the girl child has safe and comfortable menstrual supplies.
Adolescence and puberty are challenging development stages for girls in Zimbabwe particularly those in poor families or rural communities.
The silence, stigma and taboos surrounding menstruation keep many young girls ignorant about how to handle menstruation.