Government calls for collaborative efforts on menstrual hygiene awareness

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School girls

Government through the Ministry of Water and Sanitation, has called for collaborative efforts to raise awareness on issues concerning hygiene among young girls and women.

The call has been made as Malawi joins the world commemorating World Menstruation Day under the theme ‘Together for a period friendly word’.

In a press statement, Secretary for Water and Sanitation, Elias Chimulambe said that awareness of menstrual hygiene empowers young girls with knowledge and fosters open discussions by dismantling societal taboos and creating a supportive environment where menstruation is understood and embraced without hindrance or embarrassed.

Chimulambe added that central to Malawi’s approach is the creation of period-friendly infrastructure across various settings, including schools, workplaces, and public facilities because these efforts encompass the provision of clean and private facilities.

“Laudable efforts for normalcy began with a global call for countries to remove taxes from menstrual hygiene products making it more affordable for girls and women to purchase. Malawi government swiftly responded to this global initiative by removing taxes on menstrual hygiene products significantly improved affordability, ensuring that young girls and women have access to safe and  reliable menstrual hygiene products,” he explained

However, he expressed that despite these strides, challenges persist, particularly in accessing menstrual facilities for poor girls and women, taxes on raw material for reusable pads, and combating social stigmas because the obstacles hinder education and socioeconomic opportunities for girls and women, perpetuating inequality.

He went on to say that as the country marks Menstrual Health Hygiene Day, Malawi reaffirms its commitment to overcoming barriers and fostering a period-friendly environment.

Chimulambe said as the country recognizes that collaborative actions are essential for sustainable progress in menstrual health hygiene, it is therefore inviting national and international stakeholders to join in the endeavor.

This year’s day will be commemorated on 14th June in June 2024 at Pinda Primary School in Mchinji district.

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