By Sopani Ng’ambi
As one way of easing menstruation-related challenges that women and girls face, Citizen Impact Organization (CIO) has embarked on a menstrual hygiene management project in Mzimba District.
With funding from National Democratic Institute (NDI), the project intends to educate reproductive women and adolescent girls to manage their menstruation safely, hygienically, with dignity and without stigma.
According to Citizen Impact Organization founder, Chimwemwe Banda, they observed that there are various misconceptions and taboos associated with menstruation in most rural areas of Mzimba North.
“The survey we conducted in Mzimba North revealed that each month, 40% of the girls do not attend classes for almost a week when they start menstruating as they feel stigmatized.
“This prompted us to roll out the project in order to change people’s negative perception towards menstruation,” Banda said.
She said myths limit the ability of women and girls to participate in the society, a situation that bars them from fulfilling their desired goals.
“We need to clear out myths about menstruation as they affect reproductive women and adolescent girls in various ways. Some even fail to access education due to that,” she said.
As part of the project, Citizen Impact Organization recently conducted an awareness session with adolescent girls and members of mother group at Thandazga Primary School in Mzuzu.
Chairperson for Thandazga Mother Group, Rachel Nkhambure, sounded contented, saying the session was helpful and timely.
“We have learnt a lot from this session, we knew little about menstrual hygiene management,” she said.
Speaking on behalf of her fellow learners who attended the session, Tapiwa Njikho, a Standard 8 pupil, hailed the organization for educating them on how best they can manage their menstruation.
“Henceforth, we will be able to deal with some of the menstruation-related challenges which include misconceptions,” she said.
Through this project, Citizen Impact Organization, among other things, will distribute reusable sanitary pads to different women and girls in Mzimba North and will also teach them how to make such pads.