Mar 30, 2021

Menstrual hygiene management

The transition from childhood to Adulthood for girls is usually marked with growth and development and is often met with fear and Anxiety due to the inadequate knowledge about menstrual hygiene and lack of proper sanitary wear; this is in addition to the pre-existing cultural norms and taboos that defame girls during that time of the Month.

In Uganda, one in every four adolescent girls will miss school because of menstruation related problems.(Adolescent Risk Behavior study 2017)

Girls in rural areas face more barriers to menstrual hygiene than their counterparts in Urban settings, Women and girls have less or no knowledge at all bout urinary tract infections caused due to improper personal hygiene during menstruation. Most girls are not prepared for this period as they are not informed or ill-informed about menstruation. In addition, most schools do not have access to the necessary facilities to support girls during menstruation, for insistence clean toilets, supplies and constant water supply. Managing these barriers calls for a multi-stakeholder approach in implementation of policies geared towards ensuring menstrual hygiene.

Teachers provide safe space for learners while at School, therefore they should be sensitize and be trained on how to convey Knowledge about Menstrual hygiene Management in schools and Homes.

Furthermore, Adolescents’ sexual and reproductive health rights must be supported in schools to help students learn about their sexual identity and protect themselves from Abuse. This means providing access to sexuality education, empowering young people about their rights including the right to Education and stay in school.

Family is the most important Unit of society as it shapes the moral upbringing of Children. Parents play an important role of passing on information about menstrual hygiene to their Children basing on the cultural norms and family values.

Civil society organizations should also support Girls through Advocacy in menstrual hygiene; Emphasis should be on the use of reusable sanitary towels. Support teachers and community workers in addressing a sensitive topic in a fun and empowering way got girls and young women and that is why Joy for Children-Uganda partnered with Afri Pads and Raising Teenagers-Uganda to preach the message of menstrual hygiene management in selected schools in Kampala slums, Girls were encouraged to observe personal hygiene, taught about proper disposal of sanitary pads, hand washing and diseases related to poor hygiene.

Men and Boys play an important role in promoting menstrual hygiene, Men can support and influence women and girls in managing menstruation in households, schools, work, and community through many roles as husbands, fathers, brothers, students, teachers, and policymakers. It is often difficult to engage Men and Boys in discussions related to Menstruation due to the existing myths about the subject, but by engaging them in to Community Forums and Focus Group Discussions, we can change their perception about Menstruation. Therefore, comprehensive programs that engage both men and women should be organized related to menstrual hygiene.

There is a huge task to encourage all the key stakeholders in ensuring menstrual hygiene management practices, subsidies should be given on menstrual products so that every girl can access them. Campaigns on safe water and sanitation should be re-emphasized by the NGOS Community leaders.

Mar 12, 2021

Women's Day

On 8th March,Uganda joined the rest of the world to celebrate the international WomenS day under the theme “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world”.

The celebrations were presided over by the President of Uganda calling for equality between men and women.

“Women emancipation should focus on social economic transformation. You can talk legalities for centuries but if you don’t talk about society changing, nothing will move”. His Excellency the President of Republic of Uganda.

It’s up to all of us to #choose to challenge, a call to challenge the status quo by creating awareness about Gender equality and acknowledging women’s achievements amid the pandemic.

At Joy for Children, we carried out community visits in the slums that we operate to capture the different views of Women, Men and Girls about what they perceive of women’s day.

"When i hear about Womens day,i think it is a day when women come together to celebrate their achivements and acknowledege their roles as mothers"Jessica one of the beneficiries of our Girl Empower club.

Advancing Gender equality should be inclusive for all key stakeholders for instance men especially at Household level.



Feb 24, 2021

Engaging Girls and Boys in ending child marriage

Around the world, marriage is often perceived as a way of ushering in love and happiness, but for young girls below the age of 18 years ,getting married is one of the most unpleasant things that can happen to them,34% of girls in Uganda are married off before the age of 18 and 4% are off before their 15th birthday.6% of boys are married off before the age of 18.(UNICEF 2017) Poverty is the major trigger of child marriage in the rural communities in Uganda, the thought of “another mouth to feed” precipitates some parents to marry off their children at an early age.

Other causes may include discriminatory gender norms and cultural norms for instance in Western Uganda, where a girl`s family will receive cows in form of dowry which is an embodiment of prestige in the region. The consequences can be fatal, still birth, limited access to education services, domestic violence, poor nutrition, contraction of sexually transmitted infections, psychological torture among others. 

 Joy for chhildren-Uganda has been carrying out several activitiesto end the vice and some included Local leader engagements to particularly pass on information to parents and young children about the harmful peril of early child bearing. Community leaders committing their efforts to speaking about the injustices that girls experience while transitioning to adulthood, enacting bylaws to levy heavy penalties on the perpetrators of child marriage. 

School debates for the students and head teachers to help understand the triggers of child marriage and devise means to putting an end to it, Using debates in the classroom helped students understand essential critical thinking skills, rational thinking, and refine their public speaking skills. Some students highlighted the key drivers of child marriage as being poverty, peer pressure and influence of bad groups among others. Way Forward.

  •  There should be access to information about sexual and reproductive health services for adolescents to understand their bodies and prevent unwanted pregnancies, this can be done with the help of teachers because it was realized that some parents feel shy to discuss about sexuality with their children.
  •  The government should implement national legal frameworks that up hold international human rights standards for insistence making 18 years as the minimum age for marriage and imposing heavy penalties on persons found guilty of forcing young children into marriage. Government of Uganda should also ensure that these laws are not undermined by cultural traditions and beliefs.
  • Providing economic incentives for example tax deductions on small businesses to the most vulnerable families so as to generate more income out of their businesses and be able to support their households, these can be identified with the help of community leaders.
  • Donors should also pin government to meet its obligation of protecting the rights of children under the international law, for example the convention on the elimination of all forms of Discrimination against women, and the convention on the rights of the child. Ending Child marriage calls for a participatory approach even though girls are the primary beneficiaries, projects cannot ignore the influential persons in their lives or the environment around them. This includes engaging mothers, fathers, husbands, and community leaders in assessments and possibly in engagement strategies prior to, or during, planned interventions.
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