CAGEAD Champions MHM on World Menstrual Hygiene Day

The Center for Advocacy in Gender Equality and Action for Development (CAGEAD) has organized the celebration of World Menstrual Hygiene Day in Bamenda under the theme “Together for a Period-Friendly World. The event on Thursday 23 May 2024 was part of the Stakeholders Advocacy meeting on Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) Policies in Schools which is part of the ongoing project to improve girls’ educational attainment through proper menstrual hygiene management in schools, highlighted the importance of MHM and the progress made in fostering a supportive environment for girls in the North West Region.

The event featured various activities, including poems by students and the award-winning poet Tanni Awa, known as Mottanni, which poignantly addressed the challenges and triumphs associated with menstruation. 
The award of prizes to school clubs was a key highlight, recognizing their exceptional work in promoting menstrual hygiene education among peers. CAGEAD CEO Waah Clotilda Andiensa remarked, “These school clubs have shown remarkable dedication to breaking the silence around menstruation. Their efforts are crucial in ensuring that girls can manage menstruation with dignity and continue their education uninterrupted.”

Students from the awarded MHM clubs expressed their excitement and pride. “Being part of the MHM club has empowered us to educate our peers and make a real difference. This award is a recognition of our hard work and motivates us to keep going,”  GTHS Nkwen , Wieners of the trophy.

Another added, “The support from CAGEAD has been invaluable. We’ve learned so much about menstrual hygiene and how to support each other. Winning this award encourages us to continue advocating for better menstrual hygiene management in our schools.”
Students taking MHM pledge 

The event afforded   CAGEAD, the opportunity to issue a call to action which stressed the need for comprehensive and inclusive policies addressing menstrual hygiene needs. According to her, priorities include ensuring access to menstrual hygiene products, providing education on menstrual health, creating safe facilities, promoting awareness, de-stigmatization, and involving all stakeholders.

"As field coordinator of the MHM project, I am happy we celebrated this year's MHD under the theme "Together for a #PeriodFriendlyWorld". We are happy we brought together peer educators from the MHM clubs,  focal points and school authorities from intervention schools. From the peer educators' performances, we can see how much we have done in the field. From their MHM quiz, songs, poems, and testimonies from the project, I can say we attained our objectives of improving their knowledge, attitudes and practice on MHM." Tangiri Maxcel said 
CAGEAD CEO Waah Clotilda Andiensa addressing event 

Following the call, Several stakeholders made commitments to support menstrual hygiene management including the Imam of the Bamenda Central Mosque who pledged to educate the Muslim community about menstruation, the representative of the Fon of Bamendakwe who committed to encouraging landlords to build MHM-friendly toilets and incinerators, the Mayor of Bamenda I Council who promised to reinforce efforts in constructing MHM-friendly toilets in the municipality including schools, the Ministry of Secondary Education, principals, and PTAs committed to ensuring regular supply of pads, analgesics and  water supply  and toilets maintenance in schools

Considering that menstruation has remained a significant barrier to education for many girls in sub-Saharan Africa according to UNESCO (2014), accounting for a 20% loss of school time among adolescent girls in the region. In Cameroon, issues such as inadequate knowledge of menstrual hygiene, poor sanitation facilities, and lack of waste management systems exacerbate the problem, leading to high drop-out rates and low completion rates among girls.
CAGEAD team 

CAGEAD’s project according the organization’s data base has tackled these challenges head-on, achieving impressive milestones including, the training of 160 teachers and 75 students as peer educators, directly reaching 750 students through MHM clubs and sensitizing over 10.000 students in schools, engaging 520 individuals through community sensitization sessions, training 60  peer educators on producing reusable pads and distributed 20 handheld sewing machines, rehabilitated/ constructed 15 MHM Friendly  toilets, safe spaces and incinerators as well as distributed 7,590 dignity kits and established 15 MHM clubs with 15 Giant menstrual wheels alongside other IEC materials

The not-for-profit organization believes that Implementing effective MHM policies in schools is crucial for promoting gender equality, improving health outcomes, and empowering girls reasons why they have been constructing accessible and private toilet facilities with clean water and disposal options, engaged in comprehensive menstrual health education covering puberty, hygiene practices, and debunking myths, ensuring availability of affordable menstrual products within schools and creating supportive environments where teachers, peers, and families provide emotional and practical support.
View of the event ground 

Additionally, close to 20 civil society organizations endorsed CAGEAD to lead a network of MHM organizations in the North West Region.

The celebration of World Menstrual Hygiene Day by CAGEAD highlighted the critical importance of menstrual hygiene management in education and community health. By awarding school clubs and getting endorsements from various stakeholders, CAGEAD continues to lead the charge towards a period-friendly world, ensuring that every girl can manage menstruation with dignity and pursue her education without barriers.

Created in 2007 and legalized in 2011, CAGEAD is dedicated to working with women and youths to combat poverty, prevent disease, and promote equality and sustainable peace. The organization focuses on improving the socio-economic wellbeing of vulnerable women and girls by empowering them with skills and opportunities through advocacy and inclusive activities that foster skill-building and leadership development.

Post a Comment

Please Select Embedded Mode To Show The Comment System.*

Previous Post Next Post