Kabul: The Government of Afghanistan has reaffirmed its commitment to menstrual health education and to the challenge of social norms and cultural taboos that prevent girls from fulfilling their potential, on the eve of World Menstrual Hygiene Day (May 28).
On Thursday, a program, “Unveiling of National Menstrual Health Guidelines for Out-of-School Girls and Young Mothers”, was held in Kabul, with participants emphasizing that menstruation and menstrual health management are social issues which have received less attention.
“Teachers, parents and elders have a great responsibility towards the younger generation of Afghanistan and to their health,” said Rula Ghani, wife of President Ghani, Afghan first lady . “We need to inform them and increase their awareness of the biological changes they expect to occur as they grow older so that they can better understand their personal health.”
According to her, this can help young girls realize their full potential and protect themselves from common health problems. There are currently more than 4 million out-of-school children in Afghanistan, 60% of whom are girls. One of the main reasons for girls dropping out of school and not attending school is the lack of water, sanitation and sanitation facilities, which are some facilities that are necessary to maintain menstrual health.
Rangina Hamidi, the acting minister of Education, said that there is a need for more awareness and education about girls’ menstruation. “Men need to know that menstruation is not a disease,” she said. “Rather, it is a sign of new life and plays an important role in their future lives. Families and teachers should also consider girls’ menstruation as a valuable and hopeful event and treat them with respect and dignity,” she added.
To understand the challenges faced by Afghan women and girls in terms of menstrual health, UNICEF conducted a survey earlier this week using the U-Report mechanism.
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The survey received more than 3,000 responses, and at least half of the girls said they did not know what was happening to them at the beginning of their menstrual cycle and why; 38% said that they felt sad and upset during their cycle; 18% felt unclean, and 30% said they missed school for at least two to five days a month because of menstruation.