Female sanitary pads, reproductive health, and menstruation in particular, is a topic deemed taboo in many African countries. Menstruation is often associated with uncleanliness and impurity, and there is little awareness about the importance of adequate sanitary facilities. What role does the language surrounding female sanitation play in stigmatizing women and their bodies? And what role does wider society play in directly or indirectly restricting the access women have to sanitary products?
Due to the social stigma surrounding menstruation and the high cost of sanitary products, many girls are forced to either drop out of school or even sell sex to afford sanitary products. This again has widely negative impacts on African communities. What can be done on a policy level to ensure free sanitary pads and proper facilities? And how can we start a dialogue to get rid of the taboo?
Denis Nzioka, Kenyan activist and journalist. Nzioka made international headlines due to carrying around pads for women in order to fight the stigma of menstruation.
Kjersti Augland (TBC), works for Sex og Politikk – a Norwegian organization promoting awareness of sexual and reproductive health in Norway and abroad.
Moderator for the evening is Patience Malunga, advisor for FK Norway.