Men and boys in the Big Babanki within community joined the women and girls to listen to the menstrual hygiene talk which aimed at supporting the women and girls understand their menstrual cycle and to adopt best management and hygiene practices. This was a rare event as it was the first ever activity in the community to involve the other sex in female sensitive related talks.
Just like in other communities’ men and boys in Kedjom Keku see menstruation as a topic that is bizarre to be discussed in public. Accepting to be part of the talk, asking questions and happily collecting pads for their sisters was a great stride to show that gender norms can be reduced or broken.
Cultural beliefs that surround menstruation have often silenced women in most communities and relegated them to the background where their voices or opinion are neither heard nor accepted. H4BF has continued to strive for equal rights imploring the men and boys to support women and girls manage their menstruation hygienically and with dignity.
Most of the girls and women 9 to 21 expressed satisfaction after being enlighten on a better understanding of their menstrual cycle and hygiene tips to help them manage menstruation in school and elsewhere. “with the crisis still ongoing, most of us girls in this community do not have access to sanitary pads. The covid 19 lockdown made things worse as we were obliged to use pieces of cloths to pad ourselves, we are grateful to h4BF for bringing us pads.” said a teenage mother who had coincidentally gotten pregnant as a result of ignorance in calculating her menstrual cycle. Some ten most vulnerable girls went home with dignity kits to help them manage their hygiene challenges. Each of the women, girls, men and boys equally went home with a packet of pads.
These activities aligns with H4BF project Providing access to Quality GBV services and Strengthening Resilience of Vulnerable Persons at Risk of Gender-Based Violence in Mezam and Donga Mantung, North West region of Cameroon, and proudly funded by Stichting Serra Foundation