Africa: Youth Voices – Deciphering Menstruation for African Girls and Women


Comedian Margret Cho once joked: “Over half the world menstruates at one time or another, but you’d never know it. Isn’t that strange?”

Yet there is nothing funny about the silence behind menstruation for millions of adolescent girls and young women, who are often uninformed and ill-equipped to handle their period because no one wants to talk to them about it.

Take Ninsiima Jovat, 17, a student at Bishop Macalester Kyogyera S.S in Uganda: “Our school has a teacher assigned to career guidance, and other teachers assigned to other academic-related responsibilities. The school also has a female teacher in charge of conducting monthly check-ups among girls for pregnancies. However, no teacher is assigned to give menstrual health management (MHM) support or advice to girls in all…

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