Girls ask for support to address challenges faced during menstruation

Menstruation Malawi

Girls in Malawi have appealed for increased support to address the challenges faced by girls in schools during menstruation.

They were speaking when youth led organisation Her Liberty presented findings of research called “My period My story’ which has revealed some of the challenges girls face in schools when they are menstruating.

Joyce Chilomangala, who is a student at Mbongozi Community Day Secondary School (CDSS) in Kasungu, highlighted that the school currently has only one changing room.

She called on authorities to prioritize the construction of an additional bathroom facility.

She, however expressed her appreciation for the positive impact of the “My Period My Story” Project by Her Liberty. Chilomangala acknowledged that this initiative has already made a significant difference by tackling certain challenges.

According to Cholomangala, girls were compelled to miss lessons in order to return home and attend to changing their pads but this was dealt with through the project.

Speaking after presenting the findings, Her Liberty Programs Manager Hastings Banda said they conducted research in Kasungu and Zomba where they found out that many girls are still encountering challenges in schools whenever they are menstruating making it difficult for them to attend classes.

“It seems there is still some bullying which is happening more especially from boys whenever young girls are menstruating at school. We also noted that in some changing rooms at schools, girls are not having that opportunity to effectively utilise the changing rooms because of some factors that include lack of running water, lack of soap and lack of buckets which are heavily affecting the girls whenever they are menstruating.

He added: “So today we are just trying to disseminate these findings to different stakeholders as well government so that together we can take collective action in addressing issues that are affecting girls more especially in schools.”

In her remarks, Acting Executive Director for National Youth Council of Malawi Khombeka Mbeya emphasized the urgency of addressing the report’s findings, saying as a government institution, they are committed to finding solutions in collaboration with various stakeholders, including Her Liberty.

“There are a lot of issues that have been put forward like absenteeism in schools, girls are being bullied by boys just because they are experiencing menstruation and this affects a girl child not to have confidence in school but when those issues are addressed we know that our girl child will have confidence to go to school and they will have support from the community,”