Advocates Push for Duty-free Menstrual Pads

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As female journalist organization hols Webinar Series

Four panelists who attended a Menstrual Hygiene webinar hosted by SheWritesSheLeads have called on the Government of Liberia to ensure young women and girls have access to sanitary pads.

The webinar was a two-day event that featured TorwonSulonteh Brown a veteran broadcast journalist- who said cultural norms around menstruation must be broken.

She stated that religious houses should encourage discussion on Menstruation to protect young women and girls.

Madam Sulonteh-Brown is requesting the government to make sanitary pads duty-free to enable young women and girls to access it at all time.

She spoke on the topic, “Menstrual hygiene the issue, evidence, and the gaps.”

“If the Government should do anything, that must be, the provision of sanitary pads to all young women in urban and rural areas should be a priority, and that can only be done when a duty-free permit is instituted during importation.,” she said.

Maureen Sieh, a Media specialist, also called on the Water Sanitation and Hygiene commission to include sanitary pad in its upcoming plans. She said Menstruation must be a human rights issue for which families should receive subsidy monthly.

“There is a need for menstruation to be discussed in schools and at all public areas, it is not a taboo and it should never be,” she said.

Madam Sieh spoke on the topic, solutions to improve knowledge practices and attitudes on menstrual hygiene.

Also remarking, Naomi Tulay -Solankey of the Community Health Initiatives who spoke on the Infrastructure solutions for Menstrual hygiene Management, called for an enabling safe space for women and girls in religious areas, entertainment centers and education facilities.

“You don’t decide when you menstruate, it is natural, there must be enabling safe space for women and girls at all public facilities that will accommodate them when they are menstruating.”

She said, “Many public facilities don’t have proper trash bin to protect disposed menstrual pads, these facilities also don’t have extra sanitary pads like condoms, as it is regularly seen.”

Mariatu Golafale Yekeh, a registered nurse, requested the government and philanthropic organizations to empower toiletries factory to begin producing sanitary pads in Liberia.

She said accessing pads should be a necessity for all young women and girls.

“Toiletries Factory must see the need to start producing sanitary pads, if this is done the welfare of young women and girls will be met.”

“Many young women today are exposed to infection due to the lack of healthy hygiene products,” she said when she spoke on the topic:  “Creating access to menstrual products.”

SheWrites, SheLeads is an organization that is grooming women to become leaders and professional journalists.

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