Jamaica: The AIDS Healthcare Foundation – AHF has declared that it would be providing sanitary hygiene products of worth US$10,000 to a number of local organisations.
AHF stated that the main aim of this donation is to bring awareness to the difficulties faced by women and girls to obtain information, care and menstrual hygiene products.
This decision was taken as Jamaica joins the rest of the world to celebrate World Menstrual Hygiene Day.
Following are the organisations who will receive the donation-
- Department of Correctional Services,
- Child Protection & Family Services Agency,
- Mustard Seed Communities,
- Girls to Women Development Foundation,
- Girls Do Good Foundation,
- Penwood High School,
- Women’s Health Network,
- HerFlow and Hagley Park Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Dr Kevin Harvey, Caribbean Regional Director of AHF, asserted that “As part of this global initiative, AHF organisation would be providing resources to a number of groups locally with a view to helping women and girls with much needed menstrual hygiene supplies.”
Following the statement, he added that “Menstrual poverty is an issue in Jamaica and in the rest of the Caribbean region. We people don’t often talk about the consequences of menstrual poverty, and so many people are not aware that a lack of access can lead to a number of issues for women and girls.”
The AHF is promoting the need to eliminate the menstrual hygiene poverty and stigma, and AHF would be launching a global campaign under the slogan – “A necessity, not a luxury!”. It is said that the initiative is intended to provide resources to the most helpless women and girls around the region.
The inability of the women and girls for menstrual products, which include not only sanitary pads and tampons but also pain relievers and underwear, is stated as menstrual poverty. AHF further noted that this situation has worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic in the region.
AHF further cited, “Menstrual poverty has serious consequences, such as forcing people, mainly girls, adolescents and women, to stay at home, not allowing them to enter school and work, and so negatively impacting their education and opportunities.”
“This position also increases existing vulnerabilities, pushing women and girls towards harmful coping mechanisms, such as engaging in transactional sex to get money for the purchase of sanitary napkins or tampons,” – AHF stated.