By Folasade Akpan
The Federal Government has established a Pad Bank for National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) female staff, corps members and other visitors that may have emergency menstrual flow in the office.
A statement by the Director, Press and Public Relations, Ministry of Women Affairs, Mr Eddy Megwa, said Mrs Pauline Tallen, the Minister for Women Affairs, unveiled the bank at the NYSC headquarters in Abuja.
She emphasised the need for continuous sensitisation of the girl child and female folk to menstrual and personal hygiene.
She also urged for continuous campaign against gender-based violence and the need to change the negative social norms among the female folk.
Tallen said efforts should be intensified on the sensitisation, enrolment, orientation and education of the girl child.
According to her, menstruation makes the girl child an easy prey for early marriage, sexual violence, teenage pregnancy, school drop-out, trafficking, among others.
“It is on this note that the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs mainstreamed menstrual and health management hygiene programmes and intervention to promote awareness on menstruation and hygiene.
“It is also to build the capacity of women and adolescents to see menstruation as a normal biological process,” Tallen said.
She urged Nigerians to embrace love and peaceful co-existence as election periods were drawing near.
“I am appealing to all Nigerians, especially our future leaders to give peace a chance. Everyone has a role to play and we must all be peace ambassadors.”
NYSC Director-General Brig.-Gen. Muhammad Fadah said the scheme would continue to make its workplace conducive, especially as it related to the female gender.
Fadah who was represented by the Director of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Mrs Christy Uba, said ever since gender mainstreaming became a national issue, the NYSC keyed into it and internalised it into its activities and programmes.
He added that the scheme had made giant strides on capacity building of gender officers and sensitisation and advocacy campaigns in rural communities.
“I believe the choice of the NYSC as one of the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to be honoured by the presence of the Minister to unveil this Pad Bank is trajectory to the scheme’s commitment to effective and efficient service delivery.”
Fadah added that the unveiling of the bank would launch a new era of partnership between the NYSC and Federal Ministry of Women Affairs.
This, he said, was especially in the areas of gender sensitivity, provision of pad bank and support to the female staff in the workplace and during orientation programmes.
The Head of Reforms Unit, Abdullahi Baba, said the main objective of the initiative was to support career women not to leave their workplace or absent themselves from duty during their monthly flow.
He added that the benefits of the initiative include the provision of free pads to female staff members and visitors who may have emergency flow in the office.
Abdullahi also said that since 2014 when the issue of menstruation gained global attention, May 28 every year had been set aside as the World Menstrual and Hygiene Day to create awareness.
He said that the Director-General, having taken cognisance of women’s schedule of work, approved the establishment of pad bank in the scheme.
“This is due to the fact that menstrual flow does not give notice and this can lead to lateness to work, absenteeism from workplace and also discomfort on the affected staff while at work, all which can contribute immensely to low staff productivity.”