Govt must act now to end ‘sex for sanitary products’ exploitation – Henry Djaba Memorial Foundation

The Henry Djaba Memorial Foundation has called on the Ghanaian government and all stakeholders to take urgent action to address the disturbing issue of girls engaging in sex in exchange for basic menstrual hygiene products.

The foundation made the call in commemoration of the International Menstrual Hygiene Day.

“We seize this special day 28th May 2024 to call on the government to enforce their political will and to duty bearers, parents, men, and boys to take serious action to unchain our girls from sex for menstrual hygiene essentials”

“Take action and unchain our girls from sex for menstrual hygiene essentials”.

In a statement made available to Metrotvonline.com, the Executive Director of Henry Djaba Memorial Foundation and former Minister of Gender, Children, and Social Protection Dr. Otiko Afisah Djaba, condemned what she described as the “horror” and “nightmare” of hearing about girls resorting to prostitution just to afford sanitary pads, which can cost as little as 10 Ghanaian Cedis.

“There is no excuse or the reality of poverty for any girl to engage in prostitution for food and basic needs. Poverty should not make fools of us or a people without pride and dignity”

The statement also highlighted the grave challenges faced by girls and women in the country, especially in hard-to-reach areas, when it comes to managing their menstrual health, where access to clean water, sanitation, and affordable hygiene products is limited.

To address this crisis, the Foundation has called on the government to take immediate action in placing zero taxes on all sanitary products which will reduce the price of the product and in the long term,

establish factories to produce affordable, locally-made sanitary products.

The Foundation also recommended that the government initiate a child benefit allowance for menstrual hygiene management under the LEAP program while coordinating sustainable solutions through the Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Protection to set up a Menstrual Hygiene Management Fund for corporate and public contributions.

The Henry Djaba Memorial Foundation also urged boys and men to change their attitudes and stop taking advantage over vulnerable girls, while calling on girls to resist the temptation of “selling themselves” and maintain their dignity and self-esteem.

“We should all bow our heads down in shame for these atrocities, violations, and abuses against girls and women, especially when they are most vulnerable. Girls have dreams and aspirations too”

“Girls have dreams and aspirations too. The gateway to opportunities for the advancement and wellbeing of girls is for them to be free from sex for menstrual essentials, sexual exploitation, entrapment, violence, and harassment,” Dr. Djaba emphasized.

By: Bright Dzakah | Metrotvonline.com | Ghana

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