Janelle De Souza
On Saturday afternoon, about 70 people dressed in pink and blue took a walk around the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain, in celebration of World Menstrual Hygiene Day.
Leela Ramsingh, managing director of LSA Healthcare Service Ltd, said the celebration was initiated by the NGO WASH United, out of Germany, and is recognised every year on May 28.
She said over the past four years LSA had been recognising the day by going to schools and educating girls and boys about menstrual health and hygiene. This year, with the theme being #ItsTimeForAction, LSA staged the walk in conjunction with WASH United.
She said LSA would like to take Menstrual Hygiene Day throughout Trinidad and Tobago and get NGOs, corporate TT, and the government involved, since there were many women and girls who were not aware of menstrual health and hygiene
“As it is, we have too many women who complain of or have a lack of products to use. It’s expensive. We need to have proper facilities, have restaurants allow us to use their restrooms when we have our period, we need some sort of compassion and figure out how we can help women who are menstruating. If everyone comes into the narrative, it would change how people operate here in TT.”
She hopes the company’s activities will reduce stigmatisation against women and girls and men and boys would be aware of how to help.
Dr Shiney Isaac explained that menstrual-hygiene management referred to access to menstrual hygiene products, privacy to change the materials, and access to facilities to dispose of used menstrual management material.
She stressed that menstruation was a simple, normal but important physical process that happened to women and allowed them to get pregnant.
“If we are going to put celebrities, royalty and everybody up on a pedestal for accomplishing a pregnancy, we need to be able to talk openly about the menstruation that makes that possible. There are a number of challenges and issues dealing with menstruation, but none of those challenges could be addressed if we can not talk about the issue openly and without shame.”