Young men discuss to end menstruation stigma

By: Elia Joseph Loful

A group of young men met in Juba yesterday toopenlydiscuss and forge way forward to ending menstruation period stigma, a phenomena considered as a taboo among South Sudanese communities.

The Program coordinator for Okay Africa Foundation Data Emmanuel Gordon said they wanted to educate young men so as to end menstruation stigma among the girls.

He said they need to break the silence in the schools and at the family level, adding that there were some cultures that do not allow discussion on menstruation.

Gordon said there was need to create free conversation in order to allow the girls feel free without being ashamed.

“You know whenever a girl or a woman is menstruating she is either bared from doing certain activities it affect them and stigmatized them so much. So our concern is let create a conversation and break the stigma so that we can have a free conversation,” he explained.

Emmanuel said other men do not accept to discuss the matter openly saying it was women business. “The reaction from some of them is mixed, others react positively to the fact that we need to remove that stigma while others look at it that it should be women and girls to talk about it. Because it doesn’t affect men however it affects them indirectly,” he added.

Gloria Albert Pitya, the Founder for Arise Africa Youth Organization blamed the cultural setup for increase of menstruation period stigma in the society today.

“It is not actually how women do not want men to hear about, but we have been brought up in the culture that has been set in our mind that men should not hear about menstruation.

Gloria said she was pleased to see men coming together to discuss matters concerning menstruation describing it as a step for change in society.

“For me to see men that are coming to talk about this, this is the first step for change, to create the environment that girls can be comfortable to talk to their male counterpart without fear,” she said.

She said people need to work collectively to change the mindset of females’ person in sharing and discussion of the period that they do not want to talk openly with their male friends.

Gloria called on the activists to reach the awareness to families and not only at schools.

“If we the elders have to go the communities and teach the women, mothers telling them at the grassroots level,  and talk to parents that it is just a normal thing. So we need to include the mothers and go beyond the schools,” she reiterated.

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