health

March 2, 2022

LINEO MABEKEBEKE

2 min read

Rotary club restores teenage dignity

Rotary club restores teenage dignity

Recipients of the sanitary pads and members of the Mantsopa Rotary Club

Story highlights

  • Lack of sanitary pads means women cannot take care of themselves
  • The donation also marks last year’s Women’s Month celebration

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MANTSOPA Rotary Club has donated reusable sanitary pads to a group of 30 teenage mothers in Matelile, Mafeteng this week, a shot in the arm where among the many reasons for teenage mothers’ low retention rate is lack of affordable hygiene products that enable them to do their daily routines.

While the sanitary pads will help the girls to manage their menstrual periods - a natural and routine part of life for healthy girls and women - in some parts of the country it is accompanied by shame and fear.

Lack of sanitary pads means women cannot take care of themselves, stay clean and comfortable during their menstrual cycle but this gesture by the Mantsopa Rotary Club will restore their confidence, independence and dignity.

President of the club, Makhetha Motšoari told Maseru Metro that they wanted to make these young mothers aware that there were people who cared for them, and recognised their presence and plight as young mothers and girl child.

He said the donation also marked last year’s Women’s Month celebrations to honor women and show them their importance.

Motšoari said the selected group was chosen with the help of the local clinic where they attended their clinical appointments before, during and after their pregnancies.     

For some girls, menstruation often means missing a week of school every month if the family struggles to put food on the table and the purchase of sanitary products is more impossible to the teenage mothers.

Otherwise, the belief that menstruation symbolises womanhood and indicates readiness for marriage and sex has left girls and teenage mothers vulnerable to a host of abuses, including child marriages, sexual violence and early pregnancy.

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While menstruation is one indication of biological fertility, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), a UN agency aimed at improving reproductive and maternal health worldwide, says it does not mean girls have reached mental, emotional, psychological or physical maturity.

As the world struggles with the spread of COVID-19, many teenage mothers continue to face a greater challenge of poor menstrual hygiene due to lack of access to free and low cost sanitary pads.

The use of the re-usable sanitary pads gives young teenage mothers means to hygienically take good care of themselves during their menstrual cycles.

Menstruation is the technical term for a woman to get her period. About once a month, females who have gone through puberty will experience menstrual bleeding.

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