First Lady joins menstrual health webinar panel discussion

First Lady Fanza Ahmed taking part in a high-level panel discussion of menstrual health webinar. PHOTO: PRESIDENTS OFFICE

Male’, Maldives – President’s Office on Sunday revealed that First Lady Fazna Ahmed took part in a high-level panel discussion of a webinar on Menstrual Health Management and Sustainable Periods.

The webinar was a collaborative event between Zero Waste Management and the Society for Health Education (SHE), with the support of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), to formulate a dialogue on conductive environments for adolescents and girls to manage their menstrual health.

During the two-panel webinar held on Saturday, from 2000 hrs till 2245 hrs, the first lady spoke on a range of topics including menstrual health and wellness, focusing on efforts to subdue the stigma surrounding menstruation by increasing puberty awareness.

She stressed the importance of educating young girls on menstruation, the health effects that may come with it, personal hygiene and the environment based on the menstrual products chosen.

Additionally, the first lady shed light on the terms and phrases used in Dhivehi to describe puberty as “becoming an adult”. She noted that as puberty generally occurs between ages 7 and 12, it does not necessarily signify that the child has become an adult.

Hence, she stated that it was crucial to provide accurate and age-appropriate information to children, along with creating a more diverse Dhivehi vocabulary with more apt terms.

First Lady Fazna addressed the challenges faced due to low puberty awareness in society and the social norm to treat subjects such as menstruation as taboo.

She stated that the only way to tackle the issue was early education by integrating puberty awareness into the school curriculum on a policy level, with parental consent.

In addition to the first lady, government policymakers, health sector representatives, advocates and civil society organizations took part in the event.