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  • 3 Sep 2023 12:20 PM | Kemi Oyebade (Administrator)

    Gender Based Violence Committee Report
    By: Veera Mahajan, NFBPWC Gender Based Violence Committee Chair

    Unraveling Gender-Based Violence: Confronting Our Inner Demons

    Gender-based violence, a pervasive and insidious social issue, continues to cast a dark shadow over societies worldwide. Its roots run deep, intertwining with cultural norms, power dynamics, and personal attitudes. In our quest to eradicate this menace, it’s essential to recognize that the problem often lies not only in external forces, but within ourselves – in our discomfort, fear, and pride.

    At the heart of the matter lies discomfort. We are often uneasy discussing gender-based violence, as it forces us to confront uncomfortable truths about the society we live in. This discomfort can lead to avoidance, denial, and harmful behaviors. It’s crucial to acknowledge this discomfort and actively engage in open dialogues, creating safe spaces to challenge and transform the narratives that sustain gender-based violence.

    Fear, too, plays a significant role. Fear of backlash, ridicule, or retaliation can prevent individuals from speaking out or intervening. Fear of losing societal acceptance or personal relationships can keep victims trapped in silence. By acknowledging these fears, we can work towards fostering a culture of empathy and support, empowering survivors to come forward and allies to stand up against violence.

    Pride can also be a stumbling block. Our ego sometimes blinds us to our own biases, making it challenging to recognize and address harmful behaviors. A culture that normalizes toxic masculinity or reinforces outdated gender roles feeds into this pride. Unlearning these ingrained beliefs is essential for dismantling the foundations of gender-based violence.

    To combat gender-based violence effectively, we must embark on an introspective journey, examine our discomfort, fear, and pride. By acknowledging these internal barriers, we can actively work towards creating a more equitable and just society.

    Only through collective self-awareness and action, can we hope to bring an end to the cycle of violence and abuse, fostering a world where every individual can thrive without the shadow of gender-based oppression.

    Combating Period Poverty: Ensuring Menstrual Hygiene for All

    Period poverty, a grave concern that affects women and girls in impoverished societies, sheds light on the need for comprehensive education about menstrual biology and hygiene, as well as the provision of essential period products. Menstrual cycles are a fundamental aspect of female biology, serving as a natural process indicating reproductive health. However, societal taboos and misinformation have led to a lack of understanding and proper management of menstrual hygiene.

    Understanding menstrual biology is crucial for both genders. Menstruation is a sign of reproductive health and is essential for fertility. Proper menstrual hygiene is not only vital for health but also for dignity and confidence. Lack of access to menstrual products can lead to unhygienic practices, affecting physical health and psychological well-being. Girls may miss school, limiting their education and future opportunities.

    Addressing period poverty requires a multifaceted approach. Comprehensive sexual education that covers menstrual health, anatomy, and hygiene must be integrated into school curricula. Open conversations about menstruation help dispel myths and reduce stigma. Moreover, access to affordable and sustainable period products is pivotal. Governments have a role to play in ensuring that basic menstrual products are available to all women and girls, regardless of their socioeconomic status. 

    Government-mandated provision of period products could help break the cycle of period poverty. By considering menstrual hygiene as a basic human right, governments can empower marginalized communities. Collaborating with NGOs and private sector partners can make these products accessible in schools, healthcare facilities, and public spaces.

    In conclusion, menstrual hygiene education and the provision of period products are essential components in the fight against period poverty. By promoting awareness about menstrual biology, dismantling stigmas, and ensuring affordable access to period products, societies can uplift women and girls, contributing to their overall well-being, educational attainment, and empowerment. Government initiatives that mandate the availability of menstrual products are crucial steps towards a more equitable and inclusive future.

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