Anike-Ade Funke’s drama series on menstrual health and hygiene, My Period, My Pride, intentionally advocates free sanitary pads for school girls across Nigeria.
The 13-week drama series, which debuted in August on Radio Nigeria Bond 92.9 FM, Lagos, reflects the challenges of the girl child as she struggles with education amid period poverty.
“It is a distillation of conversations and stories about menstruation as experienced by many families,” she added.
According to the author and multiple award-winning broadcaster, the initiative is an advocacy tool to demand free sanitary pads for school girls from the Nigerian governments across all levels.
While noting that the drama is not prominent in the menu of many radio stations in Nigeria, Funke described it as content and advocacy.
For Funke, a journalist and social campaigner, the drama series is coming when Nigerians grapple with the effects of subsidy removal on the family budget.
She went on to express gratitude to the McArthur Foundation Africa in Nigeria, under the leadership of Dr. Kole Shettima, “For supporting our work in the menstrual hygiene sector and giving impetus to our media campaign”.
On her part, the Senior Programme Officer, McArthur Foundation, Africa, Dr Amina Salihu, described period poverty as an equity, human rights, and socio-economic problem.
She emphasised: “Society and the state lose because we cannot understand the socio-economic dimensions.”
Salihu lamented that period poverty is a form of gender-based violence, cautioning that until policymakers recognise it, “we won’t be able to shift the needle regarding the right policies and laws”.
A veteran broadcaster, Mr. Ogie Eboigbe, acknowledged that the message can reach more people with radio.
He continued: “Even the mobile phones all have FM radios while drivers, owners of cars, and passengers are sure to hear and get the message.”
Renowned Agro-economy expert and former Vice Chancellor of Afe Babalola University, Prof. Sidi Osho, highlighted how the series would emphasise for the girl child many essential issues they should know about, especially their physiology as females.
“It would bring to bear the importance of hygiene in menstruation, emphasising the evolution of eggs during menstruation to reduce the number of out-of-school children pregnant,” says Osho.
Accordingly, he is confident that the series would showcase the role that caregivers and mothers play in explaining more about sex education to their wards, especially for social growth.
“We hope the series will stimulate policymakers, the private sector, and industries to support this vision by giving sanitary towels to girls through this campaign,” the prof and chair of the Board of Illuminate Nigeria Development Network (INDN) under which the SPMC added.
My Period, My Pride series captures the first menstruation, menstrual cramps, anxiety over continued education due to period poverty, and menstrual hygiene talk.
It also outlines the effects of corporate and government intervention on schooling through donating menstrual items to school girls, the empowerment of women, child abuse and exploitation, and the significance of scholarships to indigent students.
Originally Published By ThisDay | Rebecca Ejifoma