In support of the free provision of sanitary pads to girls and women in prison last week, Kenyan Senator, Gloria Orwoba showed up in a white suit with red stains.
Gloria Orwoba intended to move a motion to increase government funding on sanitary and address period poverty in Kenya by providing sanitary pads to school girls.
Her colleagues criticized her for wearing the stained clothes in Parliament. But Orwoba refused to back down, asserting that her menstrual cycle could not interfere with her legislative responsibilities.
After much debate, she spoke to the press and left to distribute sanitary pad at a Nairobi secondary school.
It started in bible times
There are many reasons why being on your period is a shameful thing. Under the law of Moses, women who were on their period were isolated from the rest of the camp and their husbands were not allowed to lay with them.
Teenage girls are so scared to be stained
Period shame usually begins in teenage hood where young girls tie sweaters to avoid getting stained and laughed at by boys in their class.
A period stains can be so embarrassing, but the issue is, should it be a shameful thing? A woman on her period is going through a very natural process needed for life to be born on this earth. Women from a young age need to understand that menstrual blood does not make them dirty or unclean.
Men need to destigmatize periods
Men also contribute to the shame women feel about their periods. Have you ever gone to visit a man overnight and you were on your period and so you stained his bed?
It’s always comforting when the man tells you not to worry about it, that he understands, but do you remember the panic and shame you felt? When men accept the fact that blood can sometimes overflow, the shame attached to periods can be eliminated.
The cost of sanitary pads is such a big deal
A huge part of period shame is the cost of sanitary pads, while some European countries and American cities provide free sanitary pads, including in African countries like South Africa, Botswana and Kenya.
Other countries don’t have this, especially for women who live in rural areas and who are imprisoned do not have such access, most are forced to use rags and clothes.
Some of these forward-thinking countries also have sanitary products in the restroom, imagine your period suddenly starting and you can just go to a restroom and get a pad. Society needs to know that there is no shame in a woman experiencing her period.