Menstrual poverty refers to the lack of access to affordable menstrual products, adequate sanitation facilities, and menstrual health education. In Ghana, menstrual poverty is a multifaceted issue, with various social, cultural, and economic factors contributing to it.
One of the key issues contributing to menstrual poverty in Ghana is the lack of access to affordable menstrual products. Many women and girls in Ghana cannot afford to purchase sanitary pads, tampons, or resuable hygien products forcing them to resort to using unsanitary and unsafe materials like old rags or newspapers during their periods. Additionally, many communities lack access to clean water and sanitation facilities, making it difficult for women and girls to manage their menstrual hygiene safely.
Another factor contributing to menstrual poverty in Ghana is the lack of menstrual health education. Many women and girls are not taught about menstruation and menstrual hygiene management, which can lead to confusion and embarrassment surrounding their periods. This lack of education can also contribute to the spread of misinformation and myths about menstruation, which can perpetuate harmful cultural practices and stigmas.
Several initiatives and organizations are working to address menstrual poverty in Ghana. For example, the government of Ghana has launched a free sanitary pad distribution program in some regions of the country, and several NGOs are working to provide menstrual health education and access to menstrual products to women and girls in underserved communities. Additionally, advocacy efforts are underway to break down stigmas surrounding menstruation and raise awareness about the importance of menstrual hygiene management for women and girls' health and well-being.