The Just A Pad campaign is an initiative of the Her World. This is to be one of the so many activities it intends to carry out in promoting the well being of youths in the region and providing hope for equal opportunities within the northern region of Uganda. Just A Pad, is a descriptive outcry to any individuals, organization, institution and even governments, in a call to boost up the menstrual hygiene of the incapacitated and vulnerable girl child living within the community as we seek to generate assistance of pads and other related menstrual support equipment to such persons experiencing such challenges with no better solutions to combat such problems.
This activity is indiscriminate in its operation regardless of the factors of religion, culture, political and all social affiliations. We target these group because majority who undergo such challenges are fellow youths. By doing so, we are fulfilling our advocacy obligation and promoting menstrual hygiene of the girl child within our society and in return, promoting the rise of future mothers of our generation.
Why the Just A Pad outcry?
Not to discredit any other organizations that have been carrying out a similar duty, we the youths feel there was an element of inconsistency. The support that have been in place have thin lines drawn to them. Other groups support only those affiliated to them while others deliver just once and cease to maintain the delivery.
Our argument is that the menstrual periods are here to stay regardless of any short comings thus a call for more man power to combat the already established concern. We also realized that COVID-19 has put on hold several activities including aiding the girl child in promoting her menstrual hygiene which is a constant factor.
This campaign is therefore driven by the fact that;
Many girls are not supported by their parents who tend to be reluctant because they believe that if they let them experience such difficulties, their girls can get men who can take up their responsibilities which in the end lead to early pregnancy, abortion and exploitation from men who take up this opportunity in the name of offering support.
Most shops that are selling sanitary pads are handled by men which makes it hard for the girls to go and buy the pads with the fear of being laughed at and seen by the men hence succumbing to the negatives of poor hygiene.
Humiliation from public places like churches, schools and other social gatherings because of a girl’s periods because she has not carried any emergency pads hence dodging classes and totally losing self-confidence.
The major concern is that many organisations have never taken this as a priority rather they partake it as one of their many activities they tend to render hence limiting time and attention which should be put in the girl’s menstrual hygiene.
What should be done?
First and fore most you may agree with me that there is need to establish a body that is fully committed to face the challenge at hand. This is a call to support the Just A Pad campaign so that we can raise enough of these sanitary pads that would be consistently delivered to identified areas where there is a possibility of vulnerability and incapacitations of the girl child in acquiring what we would consider a right to them. Even our constitution in the Bill of Rights (chapter 4) provides for the protection and promotion of such fundamental rights. We are here to implement that.
There is need provide the vulnerable persons with reusable sanitary towels. This will enable them to still maintain their menstrual hygiene because they would still access the same pad in the next menstrual experience. This is easy to maintain because it cuts cost of constant distribution and rather allow other support programs to be put in place.
There is need to introduce skilling programs relating to the manufacture of such pads. When we skill them, they are able to maintain constant supply not only to themselves but even to those around them. At the end of the day, we would have shot two birds with a stone and given hope back to the girl child.