The Period Question

Inspired by one of Connie Dia’s posts on Period Poverty, I just had to revisit this topic for those of you at the back that didn’t get it the first time around!

Did you know that an estimated 30% of South African girls do not attend school each month because they can not afford sanitary pads!? Imagine how much school they lose out on each term or year because of something they have no control of whatsoever!

If you ask me, easy access to sanitary wear is a human right and should be held in the same regard as access to food and shelter.

How is a government okay with providing condoms for free (something one can choose not to acquire) yet sanitary pads that are a necessity are an average of R36 ($2.66) /period. An amount that a lot of people cannot spare. Surely, pads are a more pressing issue that needs to be addressed especially if we are to bridge the education gap between males and females. Those most affected by period poverty already come from disadvantaged backgrounds and this just keeps the spiral going!

This does not help a situation already aggravated by the stigma and discrimination faced by women and girls on a daily basis for an act as natural drinking water as I elaborated in the post Boys Need To Learn About Menstruation Too.

The conservative nature of our African societies also makes it easier for girls to be shunned and made to feel as if their flow is wrong. We do not prepare our girls for their first flow. We do not tell them it’s normal and they should expect it. It is something we hide from. In some cultures, when a girl receives her flow she is kept at the outskirts of the village in order for her not to ‘contaminate’ the village.

We need more open conversations that do more than just tackle the surface. We need more advocacy for free sanitary wear. We to keep more girls in school. We need to raise more awareness around this subject. A lot is already being done but a lot more can still be done. A lot more still needs to be done.


7 thoughts on “The Period Question

  1. Connie is such a gem of a person.
    I do not know the percentage of the girls in SA but I know they are of o of off a lot of girls who are not going to school because they do not have sanitary pads.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hope Connie didn’t inspire you alone or your gender. I think this cuts across. As a parent, do I need to know the devidends of periods in girls? Just asking

    Liked by 1 person

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