Menstrual periods are like natural demands on the woman’s body. She has no control over it, except to prepare with the basic sanitary materials needed to go through it safe and clean.
For most women in Sub Saharan Africa however, the unavailability of basic facilities such as water, sanitary towels, and toilets is their normal. Adolescent girls and women who are incapable of acquiring these materials are deprived of many hours of school, and profitable work times, respectively. The situation is even worse at the prisons where there are time restrictions, lack of facilities and overcrowded spaces. This poses a threat on the health, as well as the rights of such women because all females deserve proper menstrual hygiene, regardless of their status.
To promote proper menstrual hygiene among young women and girls, Youth Bridge Foundation (YBF) Zambia has launched the RED FLOWER ZAMBIA campaign to empower this marginalized group to work towards their goals whether or not in their menstruation period. This will ensure that this natural phenomenon will not become a blockage for them in education, earning an income and equally participating in everyday life. Subsequently the campaign will include equipping them with basic skills such as making reusable sanitary products that can sustain them for a period of time.
For its first outreach, the team led by the Country Director, Mrs. Mercy Mbewe donated reusable sanitary towels to female inmates at the Mukobeko Maximum Prison on 1st June 2021. As part of the campaign activities, ahead of Menstrual Hygiene Day on 28th May 2021, the Foundation hosted ‘Outdoor Movie Night with Mom’ on Mothers Day, 9th May 2021 and a series of fundraising dinners. The dinners, a partnership with the Piatto Restaurant, dubbed ‘Eat and Drink for a Cause’ was held in May. So, on each of these nights with significant discounts, participants celebrated while contributing to promoting menstrual hygiene.
Menstrual Hygiene Day is an internationally recognized day by the United Nations to create awareness on menstrual hygiene and its effects on women and girls’ potential. This year it will be commemorated on Friday May 28 2021, with the theme- “Action and Investment in Menstrual Hygiene and Health.”