Some Nigerian government ministries and organizations have launched “pad banks” for female employees ahead of this year’s World Menstrual Health and Hygiene Day.
As a result, the minister urged others, particularly those in the commercial sector, to repeat the gesture for the benefit of women and young girls.
According to Pauline Tallen, the country’s minister of women’s affairs, the idea aims to provide for emergencies while at work.
Mrs. Tallen also revealed this to the media, students, and other stakeholders in Abuja, Nigeria’s federal capital territory, on Tuesday, according to news report.
However, Mrs. Tallen said the gesture was aimed at creating more awareness about menstrual hygiene, in line with the theme of the annual celebration.
The 2022 theme is “Making Menstruation a normal fact of life by 2030.”
She said: “As the coordinating ministry and the National Secretariat for Menstrual Health and Hygiene Management, we have also made remarkable progress around menstrual health and hygiene management in Nigeria.
“It is worth mentioning that some ministries, through advocacy, are unveiling their Pad Banks, to cater for cases of emergency within their work environment.”
According to her, the MDAs include ministries of foreign affairs, water resources, agriculture and rural development, interior, youth and sports development and the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), among others.
The minister, therefore, encouraged others, especially those in the private sector, to emulate the gesture for the wellbeing and convenience of women and young girls.
“I therefore wish to use this opportunity to call on other MDAs and other stakeholders, including airlines, schools and security agencies to join in the campaign to make menstruation a normal part of life, by setting up Pad Banks in their spaces”.
“Together, if we strengthen our collaboration, existing structures to end violence against children, to secure a brighter future for our country will be sustained,” she said.
Erika Godson, Deputy Country Representative, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), encouraged the public to see menstrual hygiene as essential for women and young girls.
On the issue of obstetrics fistula, Ms Godson called on relevant stakeholders to improve quality of services in the healthcare system.
“We also encourage our healthcare system to improve the quality of services, so that women can deliver babies safely and not left with the issue of obstetrics fistula.
“This will put them in such discriminatory conditions, in which they cannot contribute meaningfully to society,” she said.
A student, Latifat Kabir-Yahaya, also spoke on the importance of students having access to and affording sanitary pads at all times.
She also said that lack of access to sanitary menstruation products and inadequate sanitation facilities harmed women and girls’ educational chances, health, and general social standing.
Similarly, Benjamin Ojionu, a student at Garki Junior Secondary School, emphasized the need of educating male children about issues that impact women and children.
More awareness, he argued, would enhance menstrual hygiene and help to avoid Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV).
Meanwhile, The presentation of sanitary pads to certain students was another highlight of the day.