Effects of lack of sanitary towels on Nigerian girls

Nigerian girls without sanitary towels

I came across a tweet on Twitter. it was centered on sanitary towels being free. The twitter user made the statement that

“Saying pads should be free because it’s not a choice to menstruate is like saying food should be free because it’s not a choice to feed”

Now I was about to type a long ass reply because of anger but I didn’t.

I read the replies to the tweet and it was disappointing. Not like I expected more.

A point was raised in the comments about how condoms are free and he said condoms protect both male and female sexually. So if men and women saw their period it’s fine for it to be free?

Now here is what I think about this tweet.

sanitary towels

First of all. Periods and hunger can’t be compared; I don’t know why In his man head he thinks it’s a good comparison but alright.

Now, him saying food should be free if pads will actually buttress the point we daughters of Chimamanda have been making on twitter which is the society hates women.

It’s not justified for pads to be free because it affects only women but justified for food to be free because it affects everyone. If it does not affect everyone it’s not a problem.

Moving on.

He also commented that pads are given for free. That’s like once in a year or what. I know of people that cater to these women and gets pads distributed to them and it’s amazing but saying it as if it’s enough (I’m not in any way saying they are not doing enough, they are amazing and I deeply APPRECIATE them) if the government should support these people. Imagine how easier life will get for thousands of girls.

sanitary towels

For those who do not completely understand what I’m talking about, allow me to explain what girls in rural areas go through during their period.

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Effects of lack of sanitary towels on Nigerian girls

Adolescence is a life-changing time for women, the period lots of changes happen to a girls body, the period she starts discovering womanhood and understanding how her body works.

Thousands of girls in primary school do not fully understand the concept of menstruating because it is seen as a shameful thing to talk about, the stigma associated with it is worse in these rural communities.

sanitary towels

There is also a sense of shame associated with the period, a process natural to every woman. SHAME, so before they notice their period they understand that since their mothers are not talking about it, they shouldn’t.

I’ve heard of all sorts that these girls use when they see their period from clothes to the back of maize just to absorb the blood! these can have severe health effects later on. The pieces of clothes used does not absorb blood like pads so instead it gets wet and creates a breeding ground for bacteria infection, itching is also almost inevitable.

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Cases of where they share one pad in two are also common and it’s sad that the foundation of womanhood has to be draining to these young girls mentally and physically.

sanitary towels

Most of these young girls miss classes for a week or less every month because they can easily get stained in school and will be shamed for it by their peers, they rather stay at home and take care of themselves even with poor water facilities but it will be better than the school.

According to the Two Feet Project research, a girl absent from school for four days (in a month) loses 13 learning days, equivalent to two weeks of learning in every school term. In an academic year (nine months) a girl loses 39 learning days, equivalent to six weeks of learning time. A girl in primary school between grades 6 and 8 (three years) loses 18 learning weeks out of 108 weeks. Within the four years of high school, a girl can lose 156 learning days equivalent to almost 24 weeks out of 144 weeks of learning in high school. It a great amount of time to be missing in school because of menstruation and the inability to afford sanitary products.

If contraceptives are accessible for free in clinics and hospitals then the same should be for sanitary towels. The use of contraceptives is optional but sanitary is not. Sanitary should be made free to dignify the womanhood of the young underprivileged African girls who are growing up. Their empowerment begins with the recognition of this primary need in their lives and making sure it does not hinder their education or cause them lifelong health implications. – My Black Matters

It’s really sad when someone says pads should not be free because it’s not a problem to men.

If you will love to donate pads to young girls here’s where to start

Fem Power WA

Free pads 4 girls

Free sanitary aid

Pad our girls

You can support these people by donating sanitary aids or money.

Thank you for helping a girl make her life easier ❤

What’s your take on comparing periods & hunger? Heard of other disturbing things girls use during their periods? Let’s talk and enlighten one another.

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17 thoughts on “Effects of lack of sanitary towels on Nigerian girls

  1. Ayo

    Wow I’m blown away completely by the fact that someone has to go through such disturbing things personally and still have to face shame for something so natural and still Egbon Agbaya from somewhere thinks food can be compared to something so delicate. This a completely amazing post I am happy on how you take your time in researching and enlightening your community on the most delicate matters of our black women and so we can start changing how our minds position women in our everyday society.This is amazing Honey. Accolades

    1. Thank you so much Ayomide. If you’re here this is my man BTW 😂😂💕

      Thank you so much for this comment it means a lot especially the part about changing our minds on the position of women in our society

  2. Tee wayne

    I came about the post on Instagram to but I decided to just ignore even if I really wanted to reply the man that said such…Alot of infections can come from improper use or no use of the right materials during our menstrual flow..And all these men forget if we don’t menstrate..even if there mum didn’t menstrate they would not be brought into these world… it’s really a shame and it’s heart breaking when some men utter such.. We need to campaign for real o for pads to be free or At least a reduction in price to enable girls and women of low cash capable of purchasing.. Imagine now menstral pad is about 400 for the single one when I remember when it was 180 or so back in secondary school…truly may God help us all.. By the way lovely post😍😍

    1. Tolu you’re speaking my mind. People work for the whole day and some don’t make 500 Naira as profit. The mentality of some men towards the issues concerning women is sickening. If you have nothing to say. Shut up!
      Thanks for the comment 💕

  3. Tee wayne

    I came about the post on Instagram to but I decided to just ignore even if I really wanted to reply the man that said such…Alot of infections can come from improper use or no use of the right materials during our menstrual flow..And all these men forget if we don’t menstrate..even if there mum didn’t menstrate they would not be brought into these world… it’s really a shame and it’s heart breaking when some men utter such.. We need to campaign for real o for pads to be free or At least a reduction in price to enable girls and women of low cash capable of purchasing.. Imagine now menstral pad is about 400 for the single one when I remember when it was 180 or so back in secondary school…truly may God help us all.. Lovely post😍😍 would love to be hearing more of such matters

  4. The fact that someone compares hunger and period is disturbing! Most girls don’t even want to see their period because of cramps and sometimes the discomfort and shyness that comes with it but that would mean getting pregnant 😏

    1. Shocking fact is that I’ve heard that some girls will rather get pregnant and abort than see their periods because of extreme pain. They can DIY abortion drinks but can’t for pads 😩 the lack of proper health care.. all these things ehn

  5. I once used tissue during my period and that was because I couldn’t go outside, it was raining. Let’s say I didn’t prepare well that month. It was so comfortable, I had to be changing and checking every hour even if I was home! I can’t believe school girls actually go through worse.

    I hate periods! I hate the ‘uncomfortable-ness’ that comes with it! I hate the mood swings, the soreness around my body! I hate acting like a bitch around everyone (especially my man) during that time! And most of all, I hate to have something stuck inside my undies somewhere around or even inside (for tampoons) my Vagina!
    And one unku from somewhere that doesn’t understand any of these wee come and compare this to hunger?!!!!! 😬😬 He doesn’t what it is to feel like a fat man is sitting on ur womb Or someone is constantly squeezing ur ovaries like you squeeze orange to extract juice! (sorry for this comparison, I have to make my point). Or a train just keeps running over your them over and over again! He’ll never understand that feeling BECAUSE HE DOESN’T HAVE OVARIES!

    Periods shouldn’t be compared to hunger! Ever!

    Let me just keep quiet, I don’t want to talk. Funke, if you just see that unku, show me.

    1. Lmaoooo … Oma o … you are better at describing than I am. That fat uncle sitting on your tummy part killed me.

      I’m just glad that we are taking our lives in our hands and controlling it!

      One day pads will become free or at least reduced to a very affordable price

  6. Some people don’t even think well before they express on social media. I’ve seen these things firsthand. I volunteer with Lend a hand Africa for Pad For A Girl Drive to orphanages and public schools, and the realities are saddening. During talk and question and answer sessions, I hear so many things that I begin to appreciate my background privilege more, because I have access to information and resources than these girls.

    Some use tissue paper, and are always hyper conscious of being stained and all, some share stories of embarrassing infections, lack of access to water both in school and at home, horrible cramps and stigma! That yeye man should go for one and see that these are not just statistics, they are real people. Being female is a disadvantage enough, then missing school and all, plus lots of myths. They’ve been told that when they have sex, the cramps will stop and trust me, some are willing to do anything to make the pain stop.

    Hunger might not show for face, you can reign it in and manage, people won’t stigmatize you for being hungry! But periods are a different matter, imagine blood trickling down your legs or all over the seat, the smell of blood, the cramps and hormones, lack of proper info on how to cope, the shame! Etc. We’re not saying food isn’t everyone’s right, but using that to argue this is plain stupid. That I’m creating awareness on breast cancer doesn’t mean cervical cancer doesn’t matter. More so, some things are a matter of choice, like sex, periods are not, how hard to understand can that be?!! Lemme just stop here, my anger is over boiling.

    1. Your points are head bursting, I’ve also heard about the myth of having sex and reducing period pain. It’s very sad the reality we live in.

      It’s just sad! We appreciate you for lending your hand to support these girls.

      Hopefully with time, I’ll have a platform big enough to share information to those rural areas

  7. It is crazy that some people still dont use their sense when talking these days. They need to understand that not every female can afford or even have access to pads and since menstruation is not by choice or something you can choose to turn off and on, a little help with making pads available will go a long way for a female child. Great post!

    Life of Dammy

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  9. That tweet annoyed me too. Such a silly thing to compare as though hunger couldnt be regulated unlike menstrual flows that can’t be regulated.
    Well said sis👏💕💕

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