Menstruation is a healthy and natural part of the reproductive cycle, yet many children and adolescents in the region experience both period stigma and period poverty (not having access to safe, hygienic, menstrual products) during their life. Misinformation and lack of basic knowledge lead to girls being out of school during their period or makes children and adolescents feel ashamed for bleeding. Green Institute believes in ending period stigma through changing social norms and behaviours and by ensuring every child’s access to knowledge and information about menstruation.
Every child should know what a period is and how the cycle works in order to feel normal and secure in their own body. The possibility to keep good menstrual health and hygiene is a core part of dignity and prosperity for children in Zimbabwe and is manifested in several human rights, such as the right to live in dignity, the right to health and the right to bodily autonomy. In Zimbabwe, mensuration may directly impact children’s education as menstruating children may be reluctant to go to school because of stigma and inadequate sanitary facilities. Learning about menstruation and creating safe spaces to have conversations and exchange knowledge is a crucial aspect to empower, build self-esteem and end period stigma