Girls around the world lack basic knowledge about their sexual and reproductive health and struggle to access menstrual health supplies. Many grapple with shame and taboos surrounding menstruation. These issues undermine girls’ health and rights. Girls can be subjected to stigma or miss school due to difficulty managing their menstrual hygiene. These concerns are being addressed at this week’s Menstrual Health Management Symposium in Johannesburg, South Africa.
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"I woke up one morning, and my father told me that we were poor and needed money," said Faith, describing the moment she learned she was engaged. She was 11 years old at the time.
"When I was 12-years old, my family organized a ceremony to transition my sisters and myself to become women," says Kakenya Ntaiya, a member of Kenya's Maasai tribe. "I was first because I was the oldest. I was told to open my knees, so I opened them.
The Bondage of Culture, a nine-minute film on female genital mutilation (FGM) by Kenyan journalist Diana Kendi, was selected as the winner of the first annual Efua Dorkenoo Pan Africa Award for Reportage on FGM.
The most senior United Nations officials are urging the world to eliminate female genital mutilation (FGM) by 2030, calling it a "violent practice" that scars girls for life, endangering their health, depriving them of their rights, and denying them the chance to reach their full potential.