May 29, 2015 By Michael Bockarie
Sierra Leoneans joined other citizens in the world to celebrate Menstrual Hygiene Day yesterday, 28 May. A special event to observe the day was held at the Government Rokel Secondary School, Tower Hill in Freetown.
Girl Child Network Sierra Leone, a local non-governmental organization, led the celebration in partnership with some eight secondary schools in Freetown.
Girl Child Network Deputy Director, Mrs. Victoria Renner, noted that Menstrual Hygiene Day was about raising awareness on how menstruation impacts education, health, the economy, the environment, and human rights.
She recalled that menstruation was a normal biological process and a key sign to reproductive health, although in many cultures it was treated as a taboo issue that should not be discussed. She said that all women in the world were affected by the phenomenon, and that girls and women should find ways to cope with it.
Keynote speaker, Ms. Yasmin Jusu-Sheriff, said she was pleased as Sierra Leone joined other countries in the world to celebrate the day. The erstwhile commissioner of human rights observed that menstruation was a natural gift from God, and that people should freely discuss it.
She said more than half of Sierra Leone’s and the world’s population experience menstruation. Ms. Jusu-Sheriff, however, noted that for most Sierra Leoneans, it was a taboo to discuss it, and that child bearing was impossible without menstruation, adding that the world would not have been a meaningful place as a result.
Chairperson for the event, Ms. Bangura, a teacher at the Government Rokel Secondary School, noted that another name for menstruation could be tears of a disappointed uterus. She further told the audience that because the eggs which meet with semen before babies are fertilized in the womb face disappointment, the substance which comes out is tears.
The chairperson, however, advised the audience to always endeavour to disappoint their uterus so that they would not have unwanted babies while in school.
In her contribution, Communications Specialist at UN Women, Ms. Emma Vincent, gave an overview of “The Yellow Ribbon Campaign” which goal is getting to zero in the fight against Ebola and stay at zero.