According to the United Nations, lack of menstrual knowledge, poor access to sanitary products and a non-facilitating school environment can make it difficult for girls to attend school in most developing countries of the world.
The UN calls for interventions to reduce the burden of menstruation for school girls by government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
Studies show that inadequate options for menstrual hygiene recently received attention as a barrier to education for girls in low and middle income countries. They noted that poor sanitation in schools and lack of access to good quality sanitary products can be associated with lower enrolment in schools, absenteeism, and dropout. Inadequate menstrual hygiene can potentially have health consequences such as increased risk of reproductive and urinary tract infections.
To help draw attention to this challenge in Nigeria, a nongovernmental organization, Periods & More Resources (PMR) is organizing an art exhibition to bringing over 15 female painters for a special art exhibition aimed at raising awareness to this problem.
According to the organizer of the event Ms. Nnenna Urom, the major aim of the exhibition is to use art to empower, educate and train girls and women on issues relating to the menstrual flow and how to develop a good sanitary habit.
“Our goal is to be able to help as many young girls as possible to feel comfortable, productive and dignified during that time of the month”.
The event takes place on Tuesday 28th May, 2019 at Kulture Kode ArtHub, Suite 3, Chocolate Mall, Wuse Abuja FCT, attracts personalities from the Federal Ministry of Health, Education, Women Affairs, Water Resources, and civil society organizations and the media. The FCDA Social Development Department, the French Embassy, Swedish Embassy, and Water Aid International are among the key partners.
Some of the artistes whose work will be on exhibition are Ngozi Akande, Chinyere Ojobo, Abigail Nnaji, Helen Nzete, Ayakurai Ekpebu, Mahogany Ruth, Loi Silva, Clara Aden, Uche Uguru, Kemi Sewel, Ella Onyebe, Doofan Kwaghool, Naomi Oyeniyi, Chinyere Odinukwe, Ayoola Omovo, Amarachi Odimba, Ogochukwu Ejiofor and May Ekene. It promises to be a very interesting outing.
The problem of menstrual hygiene is multifaceted; girls need to be aware about menarche and be able to manage their menstruation in an enabling environment with access to hygienic menstrual materials and facilities for changing and disposal of menstrual items at home and school.
National and international concerns about menstrual hygiene have been spearheaded through water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) programs in schools and policy and programming frameworks to improve knowledge and infrastructure to manage menstrual hygiene. Domesticating these in Nigeria is the major focus of this event.
There is utmost need to break the social and cultural taboos associated with this natural development to enable young girls reach their full potential in life.
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