Uganda: How menses dey make girls marry early

Young gril writing on blackboard Image copyright Getty Images
Image example Even though Uganda don ban child marriage, four out of 10 girls, go marry before dem turn 18.

Senegal don enter day 2 of three-day meeting wey dem wan do to quick-quick take action wey go end child marriage inside West and Central Africa.

Charities say some kain progress don dey for recent years on top child marriage mata, but out of di ten countries wey get di highest rates of child marriage all over di world, six dey for di region.

One of di countries for Africa wey get child marriage wahala na Uganda, but wetin special about di problem for dia na wetin dey cause am.

Image copyright TONY KARUMBA
Image example Pad too cost for Uganda so girls dey use other things like rag, grass, paper and dried leaves

Pad

When schoolgirl Auma wan begin her first menstrual period, she ask her mama for pad.

Mama tell am say make she go find husband wey go pay for di pad. Auma dat time never even reach 13 years.

Auma tori dey popular for Uganda.

Many girls dey stop school when dem begin menstruate because dia school dem no get good bathroom or because dem no get money to buy imported pad wey cost.

Plan International, wey be charity organisation, talk say mama and papa dem wey no get money to buy things like pad, dey force hundreds of dia pickin to marry.

Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image example Education na very powerful weapon to stop child marriage

Some girls dey do things wey dem no want to get pad, like sleep with boys wey go buy am for dem. Some girls go get belle and stop school.

Uganda na one traditional country wey tori about menstrual health for girls no be thing people dey talk anyhow.

But something happen dis year wey make am popular.

One activist, University lecturer Stella Nyanzi, abuse di president, Yoweri Museveni, and im wife, wey be di Minister for Education, for internet.

Nyazni say dem no do one of dia election promise, wey be to provide pad for schoolgirls.

Government put Nyanzi for jail for one month.

Child Marriage

Nyanzi case bring focus on wetin charity experts don dey make noise about tey-tey, of how dis health mata na one di biggest things wey no dey allow girls get education.

UNICEF, wey be U.N. children agency, believe say e fit reach up to 60 percent of girls for Uganda wey don miss class because dia schools no get separate toilet and bathroom to help dem when dem dey period.

Patrick Adupa, wey be Plan International Child Protection Programme Manager for Uganda, feel say dis na di reason why more than 40 percent of girls no dey finish primary school and only one out of every five girls dey go secondary school.

Image copyright John Gichigi

"Education na very powerful weapon to stop child marriage," im talk.

"When girls no dey school because dem no fit manage dia period, e go hard for dem to avoid marriage."

Even though Uganda don ban child marriage, four out of 10 girls, go marry before dem turn 18 according to UNICEF.

Adupa talk say sanitary products fit cost girls around $2 per month - dis price dey too high for country where nearly one out of every five people no dey eat with up to $1 per day.

Diis dey make girls use old rags, dried leaves, grass or paper - sometimes dem go tear pages from dia school books.

Image copyright TONY KARUMBA
Image example Boys tell charity workers say, dem think when girls dey bleed, na because of sexual violence

Which way forward?

Plan International don ask make Uganda reduce di cost of pads, give girls separate toilets for school and make dem introduce sex education for menstruation.

Adupa say people no know plenty things about periods.

To solve as people dey take look girls wey dey period, groups wey dey give money don set up menstrual hygiene clubs for schools across di country where girls go fit make dia own cotton pads, wey dem fit use pass one time.

Kenya and Zambia na two countries wey don promise to supply pads to schoolgirls.

Money experts say if girls dey go school, e no go only reduce or stop child marriage but e go increase di success of di country.

"We get something wey we dey talk for Uganda, if you give girl education, na di country you dey educate" Adupa talk.

Another thing we de for inside dis tori