Lobbies want sanitary pads availed in public toilets

Friday August 16 2019

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Women rights groups want increased access to sanitary pads and tampons in public restrooms to improve hygiene among women. PHOTO | SEARCH 

ARAFAT MUGABO
By ARAFAT MUGABO
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Women rights groups want increased access to sanitary pads and tampons in public restrooms to improve hygiene among women.

This was the massage at a meeting in Gikondo, where citizens had gathered to discuss community issues.

"We are tired of going to the public restrooms without having to improvise sanitary towels during the menstruation period," Julienne Nyinawamwiza, one of the residents told the meeting.

Olive Uwamariya, a member of Rwanda Women’s Network said availing pads will resolve the problem of public health and reduce the stigma around menstruation period.

"Today, it is a defiant act against period stigma. Without women standing up for their hygiene no one will do it for them. It’s our time to change history full of so-called taboos,” she said.

"If considered and availed in restrooms, it would help students that missed class because they do not have a pad or tampon," said Mrs Uwamariya.

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According to Billy Benemana Senga of Rwanda Interfaith Council on Health, it is important to have the sanitary pads and tampons in all women restrooms in public places to ensure menstrual hygiene.

“We only need government help to be able to access sanitary pads and tampons in all public toilets,” said Mr Nyinawamwiza.

“We have conducted multiple discussions in all districts of the country but the majority of people especially men do not support the idea of availing pads in the restrooms mainly because they consider it going astray the norms,” said Mrs Benemana.

“We have found out that awareness in the general population about menstrual health information is low and requires more efforts to succeed with the idea of pads in public places,” said Mrs Benemana.

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