Menstrual Hygiene For Women and Girls in Armed Conflict
According to Godiya, "It has been difficult for me to buy sanitary pads to use every month, we have several needs including feeding our family. Learning how to make pads from locally sourced materials means saving more money from the little income we make to attend to other needs."
With women and girls accounting for half of the conflict affected population in Nigeria's northeast region, access to menstrual hygiene products remains a huge concern to many, adding more pressure to their quest for basic needs (food, shelter, and healthcare services).
Working in close collaboration with the Nigerian Red Cross Society (NRCS), we observed that many adolescent girls in the IDP camps do not have access to sanitary pads.
This informed the need to enlighten them via group awareness sessions, on good hygiene practices and to teach them the skill of making reusable sanitary materials for themselves.
They have learnt that reusable sanitary pads can be sourced locally, and the materials are eco-friendly and promote environmental sustainability.
"I will no longer worry about buying sanitary pads again, I can now make for myself and my siblings," Godiya tells us.
Ultimately, the program seeks to enhance the wellbeing and dignity of women and girls in affected communities of which their menstrual hygiene is an integral part of.
As of May 2023, over 800 adolescent girls from IDP settlement and camps in Adamawa and southern Borno states - both in northeast Nigeria - have participated in the program.
In collaboration with the NRCS, the ICRC is committed to promoting menstrual hygiene management and empowering women and girls in affected communities.