The Youth Advocates Ghana (YAG) has called for the removal of taxes on sanitary kits to improve the menstrual hygiene young adolescents

According to the YAG’s Executive Director, Emmanuel Ametepey, there is the need to prioritise access to menstrual products as a vehicle for menstrual hygiene for adolescent girls especially those living in rural areas.

“As a society, we cannot be seeking sustainable development whilst leaving adolescent behind. We must uphold their right to dignity by making available to them the products they need to build their self-confidence whilst menstruating”.

“As we mark the Menstrual Hygiene Day, it is time for us break all the taboos against menstruation girls and build a conducive environment where they will be free to flow,” he noted.

The call come at a time where the World Bank has released that an estimated 500 million lack access to menstrual products and adequate facilities for menstrual hygiene management (MHM).

This lack, according to World Bank, has contributed significantly to girls missing school and increased risks to their menstrual and reproductive health.

Furthermore, young adolescents are more likely to suffer from health issues such as vaginal and urinary infections which in turn affects their self-esteem, therefore, widening the gender imbalance gap in all spheres of society.

It can also advance our efforts toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), especially goal 3, which focuses on Good Health and Well-being.

On the back of this, YAG has entreated all relevant stakeholders to work together toward eliminating the challenges faced by menstruating women and girls.

“It is the collective responsibility of all to end the stigma and discrimination simply due to menstruation,” the Orgnaisation noted.

Among other things, YAG with support from Arigatou International has initiated the ‘Free to Flow’ project.

The initiative seeks to break the taboos and end the stigma surrounding menstruation by raising awareness about the challenges regarding access to menstrual products and educating adolescents about menstruation and period-friendly sanitation facilities.

Through this project, YAG and partners have supported adolescent girls at Akwamu Presby, Pampamso Community, Anglican C and Nsawam Adoagyiri Municipal Assembly, among others, with sanitary kits.

The 2022 Menstrual Hygiene Day is a loud reminder of the need to prioritise access to menstrual products as a vehicle for menstrual hygiene for adolescent girls especially those living in rural areas.