Liberia’s Vice President, Chief Dr. Jewel Howard-Taylor, has called on local and international donor organizations, particularly UNFPA, to seriously consider providing free sanitary pads to women and girls on International Menstrual Hygiene Day.
On May 28, people all over the world commemorate International Period Health and Hygiene Day to end the stigma surrounding menstrual health and hygiene.
When her office and the Jewel Starfish Foundation launched the Sanitary Pads Bank at four schools in Monrovia, Vice President Howard-Taylor addressed. She requested that these international partners enhance sanitary facilities in schools so that girls’ periods would not prevent them from attending or continuing to attend school.
The four schools are the Haywood Mission School, Christ the King Catholic School, William V.S. Tubman High School, and the Muslim Congress High School, according to a news statement from the Vice President’s Office.
“Being absent from school because you are on your period is also a barrier to gender equality.” The Liberian Vice President stated, “It perpetuates the perception that women and girls have less claim to public areas.”
The Vice President kicked off the campaign by donating several pairs of reusable and washable pantyhose, as well as reusable and washable sanitary disposal pads, to the girls at these schools.
VP Howard-Taylor and the team demonstrated how to properly use the donated goods and urged the girls to remain open and free while witnessing this natural event.
The Vice President advised the students during the presentation on how to use the pads, notably the reusable and washable panty pads, that the trousers are a sustainable sanitary alternative but must be washed and dried in the sunshine hygienically.
She assured the school that every month, her gender officer in the Vice President’s office would send menstrual pads.
Meanwhile, officials from the beneficiary institutions have expressed their gratitude to the Vice President and his partners for the generous gesture, calling it praiseworthy.