Break down cultural taboos: Steenkamp

28 May 2019 17:30pm
RUNDU, 28 MAY (NAMPA) – The Executive Director in the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, Sanet Steenkamp, has called on Namibians, especially male parents and guardians, to break down cultural taboos by buying sanitary pads for girls who need it.
Steenkamp made this call during the commemoration of Menstrual Hygiene Day on Tuesday in the Kavango East Region.
The day is commemorated on 28 May annually around the world to help break the silence and build awareness about the fundamental role good menstrual health and management play in enabling women to reach their full potential.
“Let us embrace the girl child in our neighbourhoods, in our households and let us as grandfathers, uncles, and brothers start touching sanitary packs. This is how we start breaking down taboos just by touching it and putting it in the shopping basket,” said Steenkamp.
The executive director further said in some houses, women are not allowed to sleep in the same bed as their husbands when they are menstruating.
However, Steenkamp stressed that one of the objectives of observing this day is to encourage a culture of care and support among all stakeholders in ensuring dignity for menstrual health and hygiene management.
“Girls and women do not choose whether to have a menstrual cycle or not and when we do not support them during this time and provide them with the means with which they can take care of themselves, we are violating their human rights,” said Steenkamp.
She said the continued silence and stigma around menstruation must be broken.