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Tragedies of Period Poverty

Tragedies of Period Poverty

All things being right, no girl should struggle through menstruation. Not only do they suffer physically, Period Poverty also poses some phycological challenges.

On countless occasions I have seen girls suffering the consequences of menstruation. The greatest being an unanticipated period striking in public and she has no pad to cover her shame. Many a time, our community is too quick to ridicule them for messing their pants. Hold on a minute.

No girl or woman has ever written an application letter to partake in the excruciating process. Nature has been so unkind to them and left them to nurse the pain of menstruation. Why should they suffer then?

It is quite heartbreaking to know that about 30% of South African girls miss school whenever they encounter their periods. Paul Herman also writes that victims of period poverty miss 50 school days annually. Why? All because they cannot afford sanitary pads.

As if that’s not enough. Our modern generation worships the alter of umjolo¹. Young girls have been trapped in toxic relationships just for two cents to help them with toiletries. Older men are preying on these desperate girls with the power of money. In the end, they are exposed to the risk of STIs and unprecedented teenage pregnancies.

They are nothing, but vulnerable young citizens who can’t afford a couple of Rands for sanitary pads every month. Thus, the opposite gender with fat pockets lure them with umjolo. Cry my beloved brethren, we are losing sisters.

Once upon a time I read somewhere that some ladies uses unethical products like sawdust, crushed leaves, old rags, and so forth to control their blood flow. Although it helps to some extent, these measures pose terrible health implications. The worst being the disruption to their reproductive health.

It is highly commendable to note the effort to get rid of the Pink Tax by most governments. However, it is evident that more can avoided if there was provision for free sanitary products for menstruating girls. When will our governments choose to relieve our girls of this burden?

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¹Umjolo is a South African slang word for dating.

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