As part of activities to leverage social media to promote sexual and reproductive health and rights education through creative adolescent-led initiatives, a project funded by the KGL Foundation, ARHR has built the capacity of some students of Sacred Heart Technical School.
These students numbering 52 were educated on menstrual hygiene and sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) by a nurse from the Ussher Polyclinic, Accra, Mrs. Jessie Allotey. Mrs. Allotey emphasized menstrual hygiene education’s crucial role in promoting the health, well-being, and empowerment of young girls in schools. She believed by providing comprehensive information on menstrual hygiene; providing access to sanitary products; and creating a supportive environment, schools can empower girls to manage their menstrual health.
She explained to the students some key issues and challenges adolescents face during menstruation and the negative effects of SGBV. The students equally had the opportunity to ask questions bothering them.
As a follow-up activity toward the project, these students were engaged in an advocacy messages development exercise where they came up with key advocacy messages on menstrual hygiene, SGBV, teenage pregnancy, and family planning among others. These messages will be developed into posters for social media advocacy on pertinent issues affecting adolescents.
The headteacher of the school, Mr. Okai, expressed gratitude to the sponsors of the project and pledged his full support to future activities. Menstrual hygiene education in schools is not only crucial for the health and well-being of girls but also for promoting gender equality and empowerment. By addressing the challenges and implementing potential solutions, schools can foster a supportive environment where menstruation is normalized, leading to healthier, and more confident, and empowered young girls.
It is essential for policymakers, educators, parents, and communities to work together to ensure the successful implementation of comprehensive menstrual hygiene education in schools. By incorporating SGBV education into school curricula, students can develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to prevent SGBV, challenge harmful attitudes and behaviors, and create a culture of respect and equality.