The topic of menstruation and menstrual health is one often considered a taboo in many spaces.
Even though menstruation is a very regular physiological occurrence among women, the absence of open conversations around the subject has left many women lacking in beneficial knowledge in terms of their health.
Over the years, several programmes and initiatives have been undertaken to create more awareness on menstrual health in order to take away the mystery.
A non-profit organisation, Sisters In Service, organised a community service project at the Academic City Campus in Accra on May 27, 2023, to add its contribution to the growing conversations around menstrual health.
The event dubbed “It’s Normal. Period” brought together over 200 young girls drawn from some senior high schools in Ghana.
Some of the participating schools were Aburi Girls SHS, Methodist Girls SHS, Adonten SHS, Ghana SHS, Okuapeman SHS, Mampong Presby SHS, Mamfe Methodist Girls SHS, Presby Girls SHS, Mount Sinai SHS, Archbishop Porter Girls School, Holy Child SHS, Mfantsiman Girls SHS, the Ghana National College, Kumasi Girls SHS and Yaa Asantewaa SHS.
What was said on the day?
There were insightful conversations on menstrual health, the need to lift the veil off the topic and general health and wellness.
These conversations were led by Dr. Patricia Sandra Richardson (MD), Dr. Karen Amaniampong, a Gynaecologist, and Dr. Abigail Manner and they shared their knowledge and depth of the subject with the participants.
There were also conversations on the opportunities available for girls in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
Why this initiative?
Iris Ampofo-Barnes, the President of the Nu Lambda Sigma Alumnae Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Incorporated and one of the organizers of Sisters in Service, explained the motivation behind the project and what it sought to achieve in the lives of the young girls who attended.
“We are thrilled to present ‘It’s normal. Period’ and provide a platform for women and girls to openly discuss menstrual health and explore opportunities in STEM in Ghana”.
“We believe in breaking the stigma surrounding menstruation and empowering women to embrace their bodies and futures. This event was intended to inspire and equip participants with valuable knowledge and resources.”
“This service project is being rolled out in 4 other West African countries (Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, and Senegal) at the same time by the Sigma Gamma Rho, Sorority, Inc.”
The project was supported by the Sigma Public Education and Research Foundation (SPEAR) and Faytex, a leading manufacturer of menstrual products in Ghana.
Faytex donated 500 biodegradable pads which were given to the participants.
With sustainability becoming a key concern of many around the world, it is believed that the increased production and usage of more biodegradable products will help stem the tide of pollution often caused by the presence of non-biodegradable plastics in the environment.
Total Women’s Network contributed gift bags to the project. The bags were filled with personal hygiene items donated by Sisters In Service. Academic City University College also supported the implementation of the project by providing a venue that proved very useful to the various activities done on the day.
Who are the Sisters In Service?
Sisters in Service is a collective unit of local chapters of historically Black Sororities, including General Members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., and Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.
They are a dynamic group of women living, working, and operating businesses in Ghana, dedicated to community service, education, and empowerment.