DSD NPO No. 221-745 | SARS PBO No. 930069185
It’s Human Rights Day (…and we still have period stigma in 2022).
In 1960 March 21, following a decisive protest action by women to fight pass laws, a strong protest action in Sharpville against the racist and dehumanising Pass laws took place. South Africans would eventually crush apartheid and establish the Bill of Rights (under the constitution) for all who call South Africa their home.
The following extracts from the Bill of Rights caught my attention:
With these rights enshrined in our constitution, I ask myself why young girls who find themselves in orphanages, poor families, on the streets etc. cannot experience their basic rights with regards to famine sanitary.
If everyone has access to basic education, I ask myself why we still have stigma linked to the female menstruation? Why must young boys (in this day and age) find it Ok to joke around when a girl’s pads fall out of their school bag or laugh at girls when they are publicly provided free basic sanitary products?
It is in this context the foundation continues to seek ways to make these rights a real experience for every young girl out there.
The foundation through the writing competition, tried to understand some of the challenges affecting young girls with regards to feminine sanitary products availability and general period stigma, highlights from the essays:
Shockingly, even though there’s basic life orientation subject in the school curriculum - the course content does not include a focused chapter on menstruation and famine sanitary (and related products). The life orientation subject could be a significant change management tool in addressing menstrual education and period stigma as it is a neutral space that involves both boys and girls.
The competition has provided a lot to reflect on and painfully shows the war we still need to fight to make sure that every young girl out there can fully experience their basic human rights.
A special thank you to all the boys and girls from across the country who submitted their awesome entries.
To our winners, congratulations and #bethatchange