In commemoration of International Women’s Day (#IWD2022), HUMANx—a socially-conscious fashion brand—organized an outreach to Takushara community in Abuja to enlighten the women on menstrual hygiene management while also donating sanitary kits.
Gbemi Elekula, Founder and Creative Director of HUMANx, in a statement noted that the programme is in keeping with the vision and mission of the brand, which is to bring about an end to period poverty in Nigeria. It is also in line with this year’s IWD campaign theme #BreaktheBias, which spotlights the individual and collective biases against women that fuel gender inequality.
“Though a naturally-occurring physiological phenomenon, menstruation and associated activities are still shrouded in secrecy and taboos here in Nigeria. In some communities, particularly in the rural areas, social restrictions are placed on menstruating females preventing them from participating in normal activities and making it difficult for them to move ahead,” Elekula stated.
“There is no equity when half the population bear the physical, emotional, mental and financial distress as a consequence of the natural reproductive cycle needed to ensure human survival. This is why HUMANx is focused on period poverty—to generate open and honest conversations about menstruation and the problems around it, as well as to find ways to lessen the burden on the most affected females.”
“At HUMANx, our belief is that young girls and women everywhere should have access to necessary information and sanitary products to manage their menstruation in a hygienic way—in safety, privacy, and with dignity. Besides enlightening them on menstruation and menstrual hygiene, we also gave out Dignity Packs comprising period pants, pain killers, reusable sanitary pads, a manual on how to launder them, soap for washing, as well as pegs for drying, to 250 women,” she said.
Chinelo Njemanze, Programme Manager, Slay Dot Com Aid Initiative (ThriftySlayer) re-echoed the need to challenge stereotypes, biases and discriminatory practices that impede women’s contributions to building a sustainable future for all. “For many low-income women, these practices are as basic as not having access to needed menstrual hygiene products or information that can help to improve their productivity during menstruation. That is why we have partnered with HUMANx on this outreach.”
In her response, Maryam Jibrilla, Women Leader of Takushara village, expressed appreciation to HUMANx and other partners for selecting the community for the programme. “All the women have learned a lot about how to manage their periods better, and the sanitary items that you have provided will surely go a long way in alleviating our burden. We would like more well-meaning individuals, private organizations and the government to support women with laudable initiatives such as this.”
Officially recognized by the United Nations in 1977, International Women’s Day first emerged from the activities of labour movements at the turn of the twentieth century in North America and across Europe. Since those early years, it has assumed a new global dimension for women in developed and developing countries alike. The growing women’s movement, which has been strengthened by four global United Nations women’s conferences, has helped make the commemoration a rallying point to build support for women’s rights and participation in the political and economic arenas.
An initiative of GbemiDH—a multi-disciplinary creative enterprise founded by uber-talented artist Gbemi Elekula—HUMANx aims to bring about an end to period poverty in Nigeria through Perioducation (Period Education), Provision of Period Products, and Collaboration with Stakeholders. In 2021, it organized its first IWD Outreach at the Gurku IDP community in Nasarawa State, in partnership with DreamHome and Health Aid For All Initiative (HAFAI). This year’s event is proudly supported by DreamHome, Uburu Solutions, VZ Creations, ThriftySlayer and The FIVE2 Group.
Credit: Businessday.ng IWD 2022: HUMANx educates rural community on menstrual hygiene, donates products