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A non-government organization (NGO), Pad A Queen Initiative (PAQi) along with four others which promote menstrual hygiene management as well as ending negative socio-cultural perceptions of periods through purposeful collaboration have walked for period-friendly toilets in Oyo State public schools,  calling the attention of female gender especially mothers to the importance of menstrual hygiene.

The walk which kicked off at the entrance of the University of Ibadan, had participants from the five NGOs. Participants took their time to educate large number of people especially female gender while en-route UI Gate to Bodija down to Secretariat.

PAQi

Participants from the 5 NGOs; Pad A Queen Initiative (PAQi), The EME Foundation, The Glea Network, The Great Impact Foundation (TGIF) and One Voice Initiative (OVI)  sensitized market women in Bodija and its environs on the importance of menstrual hygiene and how poor menstrual hygiene can lead to poor menstrual health and consequently dysfunctional reproductive health.

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Participants introduced the idea of reusable sanitary pads to the public. The idea behind reusable sanitary pads is to create a sustainable solution to period poverty experienced by larger population in the state. The group noted that reusable sanitary pads are washable and reusable for up to 24 months and more budget-friendly compared to single-use disposable sanitary pads. The NGOs stressed that reusable pads are made from biodegradable materials and are composed of layers of high-absorbent and breathable fabrics. The NGOs cited that Virtuous pads, Happy Periods pads, Pad-Up Creations are some examples of reusable sanitary pads brands in Nigeria.

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The EME Foundation who championed the petition submitted to the office of Hon. Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology noted that inability to access products and facilities to manage periods safely by students is posing a significant impediment to girls’ educational participation in Oyo State.

The groups identified that 17.9% of girls in one school alone in Oyo absent from school during their periods because of their inability to afford period products.

The group in its petition unanimously call on Oyo government to provide free period products in schools, ensure every school has toilet and hygiene management facilities that meet UN wash standards, prioritise positive menstrual health in schools and organizing training for teachers to support menstruating girls, particularly those impacted by painful menstruation.

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