This meeting of the Mission of Senegal: Achieving Menstrual Equity and Keeping Girls in School was convened to discuss about improving access to feminine hygiene products. The experts gathered to discuss about raising the awareness of the role of women in a society in general.
First, keeping girls in school is important. There is a Menstrual Hygiene day in Senegal by the help of UNFPA and United Nation Women. However, there is no sexual education, and we have to speak up about it now—everyone should fight for it. Amelia Thompson said healthy education is needed in developed countries as well. She asked, “Why can’t girls talk about period in public place?” Also, there is no menstrual tool for homeless people in developed countries; homeless people use t-shirts and socks as pads.
Furthermore, Danielle said all girls and boys should have sexual education. She emphasized that the education for men and boys is critical; education should be accessible for all. The education should be age appropriate and should be fun and engaging for kids. For example, Indonesia has developed the new educational materials for all. Emily said that we should distribute sexual health products for both boys and girls. She said we should let boys touch these products and educate them with menstrual health. Lisa said we should involve boys in parts of education to eliminate the stigma from girls. For example, we should let the boys act as if they have menstrual periods. Boys should be the advocates for girls, should walk with girls and accept girls as who they are. Certainly, they should be informed that menstruation is a normal thing.
In addition, Lulu raised the question about how to save the environment through using washable pads in this climate change era. However, we have found that young girls do not like the idea of washing the reusable pads. However, using excessive amounts of pads is a huge environmental problem that we should tackle. There should be an effective waste management system for the pads in the garbage. We should invent the high-quality hygienic product that is easy to wash.
Meeting Title: Mission of Senegal: Achieving Menstrual Equity and Keeping Girls in School
Date/Location: Friday, 22 November, 2019; 11:30-13:00; Conference Room 7; United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY
Amelia Thompson, Founder, WeDeliverPeriod;
Danielle Engel, UNFPA;
Lisa, a Founder of Reproductive Health in Uganda;
Emily Hoppes, HURU International;
Lulu, a Director of Media for Homegirl Project
Written by: WIT Representative, Won Ah Oh