For every woman who knows what it feel like to Bleed and not have a Solution.

Dedication: All girls who bleed to School

Remember that day you felt your PERIOD coming yet you had not prepared for the first drops or the entire four days of the bleeding. Its either you didn’t have enough money to by menstrual material or the only person you could ask was your father, brother or male relative but you knew that you had been taught well that “Your Periods are your Pride your own Private Matter”. Fear, worry and anxiety would grip you as you think about what you could use to stop the bleeding and maintain your dignity among your peers. Quickly you would roll up some toilet paper from the last roll in the entire knowing fully well that using the only remaining roll of toilet paper for “Petty issues like Menstruation” would land you is serious trouble, so you quickly roll back the paper. You are now panicking trying to think of what you could use to stop the bleeding and the only thing you could think of was your old WHITE school socks, Your Father’s Newspaper edition from the previous day or an old cloth that belonged to your mother, luckily she would not notice it went missing.

You settle for the old cloth who knows where it had been or what it was used for. Nevertheless, that is not your main concern at this point because all you could think of was your dignity and that there was no way you could miss school that particular day because of the very important test the teacher had been constantly reminding you about “Don’t forget Tuesday we have our final test, if you miss this test then that’s your own problem” You feel the discomfort of this old torn clothe and a slight itch but what saddens you the most is that its barely 1 hour since you wore this clothe yet you can feel the blood on your thighs as it leaks in some areas. You think of your father’s old newspaper but that too is a no go area. Reality kicks in as you are forced to choose between your dignity or the pending test, there is no way out for you but to choose dignity(the little that is left of it over school) because the period shaming would be too much for you to handle.

Your community does not want to see your blood stains yet they do not want to hear your plea for menstrual support. Your teachers expect you to have the very best grades yet they never bother to ask why you constantly miss school every four days of the month.

If only people could change their views about Menstruation and give our girls the opportunity to ask when in need and not humiliate them each time they bleed, that way we will break the Taboos about PERIODS and make girls understand that their Pride lies in their ability to speak freely about their menstrual concerns and get the support they need. Their PRIDE lies in their ability to attend the most important events of their lives like school and not get to stay behind simply because they are menstruating.

Story shared by...

Thelma Musanhu