Ghana National Association of the Deaf (GNAD)

LET US INSPIRE INCLUSION OF DEAF GIRLS’ ACCESS TO MHM

  Today marks International Women’s Day which is celebrated worldwide. As we commemorate this wonderful day, it is important to bring to light a group of potential future women who too often are marginalized and overlooked by policymakers, investors and service providers: girls who are deaf and hard of hearing. These resilient individuals face a unique set of challenges, particularly in accessing proper menstrual hygiene management (MHM) within the educational system. The lack of access to sanitary products not only affects their physical well-being but also hampers their educational attainment, perpetuating cycles of inequality and hindering the development of their full potential.

Adolescent girls face the realities of menstruation. But for deaf girls, the struggle is compounded. Many deaf girls spend the majority of their time in residential schools for the deaf, away from the familial support system that non-deaf girls may take for granted.

Within these educational settings, the responsibility of providing for their basic needs often falls on the school administration, adding strain to already limited resources provided by the state.

It is an undeniable fact that proper MHM is not just a matter of hygiene. It is linked to the educational outcomes of girls. Without access to sanitary materials, deaf girls face significant barriers to their education; increased absenteeism, decreased academic performance, and even school dropout rates. This perpetuates a cycle of disadvantage, denying these young women of the opportunity to reach their full potential and participate fully in society.

As we mark this significant day, GNAD calls on both state and non-state actors to INSPIRE INCLUSION of the needs of deaf girls in national policy discourse, particularly by prioritizing deaf girls’ needs and access to quality information and services on MHM.

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