Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Mereseini Vuniwaqa says Fiji still has a taboo state of mind surrounding menstrual hygiene management.
In her message on World Menstrual Hygiene Day, Vuniwaqa says there is a challenge with taboo in certain communities discussing menstruation openly.
She says that as long as these beliefs persist girls will continue to view their menstrual cycle as a shame.
The Minister for Women says those in the rural areas have great difficultly managing menstrual hygiene because clean water and toilet facilities are inadequate.
Vuniwaqa says we need to create a culture that welcomes these discussions and make adequate education to information for women and girls of equal importance.
She is calling on Fijians to change the dynamics around the taboo culture regarding menstrual hygiene.
Vuniwaqa adds that public information campaigns can be launched and such initiatives can help to engage decision-makers at all levels from the home to the community to the state in dialogue to make menstrual hygiene a matter of priority.
She further says providing adequate sanitation facilities and access to feminine hygiene products are another part of the solution.
The Minister adds research has found that not having access to menstrual hygiene management products can keep girls home from school.
Vuniwaqa says it is the most natural thing that happens to a girl’s body and must be a priority in whatever sector of our nation that women and girls engage themselves in.
The Ministry is prioritizing the distribution of hygiene packs particularly for post disasters areas and creating access to basic menstrual hygiene products.
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