Commemorating the World Day of Women Health Rights: Mitigating women’s Menstrual in Goma

Activities to mitigate women Menstruation on the Commemoration of May 28th the Global Day of Actions for Women Health Rights, in Goma, the Democratic Republic of Congo.

We joined the rest of the globe to commemorate this day, and our attention was put on mitigating negative attitudes and perceptions, cultural beliefs and negative practices towards menstruation for women.

We engaged our audience in Social Media and we were so delighted to observe that the subject attracted more the attention of young people who commented on this topic for three days in various WhatsApp Groups. The following issues were brought forward:

Cultural belief: During their monthly periods women are the source misfortune in the society and they should be excluded from community issues, men should take distance from them, including the separation of the bed, periods are viewed as sickness by some women and during that time they will not do work, young people believe that sex activities can reduce the pain during periods, generally the culture of bulling women who have not managed very well their periods is common, and less information, awareness campaigns are done about this issue.

Actually young people acknowledged that it was their first time to interact publicly on this issue. However also the town of Goma has many challenges currently especially that people extremely poor, the challenges to access water, and women being economically dependent of men.

And lastly here was the main message during our two gathering with people, the first information session was at the office and the second was in the field with young people.

The rule in women (Menstruation),

This May 28 is the World Day of Commemoration of Women’s Menstrual Health, for this year the Global Theme is: “Breaking Taboos Related to Menstruation in Women”. Young girls, especially those who are at school, are the most affected and yet they deserve to be supported. How many drop out of school because of this, how many suffer from pain and infections, and how many are scandalized and humiliated by poor rule management?

Let’s talk a little about this human nature today and see how we can support women. Menstruation is not an illness as many consider it in our society, women should not regret being a woman because of menstruation.

It is important to note that this is a Natural Biological process and a sign that a person (woman) is healthy. It is a phenomenon that must be respected and well managed in the societies in which we live. In fact, having regular periods as a woman is something that not everyone should wake up and complain about, because it is one of the reasons why each of us exists as a woman.

However, a woman bleeding for 5-6 days every month is a big challenge for many because it is accompanied by a lot of cramping, mood swings, bleeding, which makes many women feel uncomfortable, whether in their workplace, at school, in their business and in their daily life. As a result, most young girls ultimately fail to reach their potential, particularly in terms of education, or in pursuing their dreams.

But the more troubling question is: As our fellow women/girls go through such difficult times, what kind of support have we offered them and what is our attitude?

How much help are these girls getting to make sure they get through this or to reduce this indomitable pain? How have we supported each other, when was the last time you pulled that girl’s hand to take her to a private place to do the necessary and essential cleaning? And do you still remember the last time you took a sanitary napkin out of your bag to share with your fellow girl? Not because she didn’t have any, but in those unfortunate moments when her period suddenly appeared?

Everyone knows that in most cases, when women have their period, they tend to do unpredictable and unjustified things, they will not be able to explain their actions and often can make bad decisions. Some go the extra mile to say words out of anger and discomfort without thinking about who is going to be affected by their emotions and actions, but have you ever approached this woman and calmed her down or you just don’t mind and forget that she is doing something unintentional.

How much does it cost you to make these girls feel comfortable and assure them of your support during such a time? It’s also important to keep an eye out for our girls. As a mother, when your daughter gets her first period, teach her how to manage the situation. Let’s stand up and create a world that respects the rules because it starts with you and me, the woman/girl should feel like she lives in a society where she is accepted, supported and protected. Your presence next to her should guarantee her support if necessary.

But also, for this to be implemented well, schools must provide all the necessary information about the menstrual period, services such as the availability of clean water, clean toilets for girls, as well as the importance of recognizing the emotional challenges associated with the menstrual period.

COJESKI North Kivu

Kulihoshi Musikami Pecos, Human Rights Defender

Provincial Coordinator of COJESKI North Kivu

Tel: +243853191163, email:

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