Young People Call on Mityana District to Mainstream Menstrual Hygiene Management
Young People in and out of school presented a position paper to Mityana District urging leaders to mainstream menstrual hygiene management into key disrtict priorities. This was during the commemoration of menstrual hygiene day on 28th May, 2020 in Malangala sub county, Mityana district. Below is the full statement;
Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen
The Chief Guest Chairman LCV
I am pleased to be here today, to present to you the voices of thousands of teenagers, adolescents and general citizens of Mityana district about the soaring numbers and glaring concerns that undermine adolescent survival in our country.
Dear our guests, globally, periods are causing girls to be absent from school. In Uganda 22% of the girl’s miss school because of lack of sanitary pads and are subject to missing considerable school days. 2 out of 10 girls in Mityana district miss school because of periods poverty. It is depressing to note that in our country, 1 out 4 girls aged 15-19 is already a mother or pregnant with their first child (UDHS 2016). Some of the key underlying factor to these problems are; - lack of sexuality education in schools, inadequate youth- friendly health services, weak enforcement of policies or laws to support young people, school drop outs, malnutrition, dangerous cultural practices, menstrual hygiene challenges, poverty, early marriages among others that call for urgent attention.
We need to speak out and hold to account those who are neglecting adolescent girls, the perpetrators of rape, defilement and early marriages and those who are failing to provide them with critical health care needs. Currently, instead of those responsible having to change, it is the voiceless and the powerless who are blamed and stigmatised.
Dear leaders as we celebrate Menstrual Hygiene day under the theme “More action and investment in menstrual health and hygiene now. “Accelerated Actions to improve Menstrual Health and Hygiene for girls and young women in and out of school” we call on you as the chief accounting officer to ensure that Mityana district owns and prioritizes the importance of ending school drop out of girls and teenage pregnancies among the issues listed above in Mityana and makes them a priority. We urge your leadership to take action by investing in policies and intervention aimed at reducing school dropout, teenage pregnancies and early marriages.
We therefore call on you as the Key Decision Makers to;
- Use your office to influence decisions aimed at investing in policies and interventions geared towards reducing adolescent dropouts due to menstruation and reduce adolescent pregnancy and early marriages;
- Urgently led the process to district ownership and spear head the Menstrual Hygiene day event together with the Health and education sector taking center stage in the commemoration
- Ensure provision of sanitary towels in schools- a commitment made by the president during the 2016 presidential campaigns;
- Influence the operationalization of the by-laws on ending teenage pregnancies;
- Ensure strict enforcement of existing laws which criminalizes, rape, defilement, early marriage and other harmful cultural practices; (Refer to sexual conduct act that was passed recently, it take care of these issues. We can emphasize its implementation)
- Support the Institutionalization of professional health counseling in schools, train teachers to handle issues of a girl child and ensure safe changing rooms for girls;
- Ensure re-integration of victims of teenage pregnancy back to school.
- Ensure enabling environment in both school and community by ensuring male involvement in menstrual hygiene management
- To pass resolutions on construction of toilets in schools to have changing room and incinerators to both private and government.
- DTPC to pass resolution that encourages all committees to include young people to represent their peers
Thousands of teenagers and adolescent girls in Mityana are eagerly waiting for your response to this statement. By investing in adolescent health, you can help me and fellow adolescents achieve our full potential
Let adolescents survive, thrive and transform!