Wednesday, October 10, 2018

LASCO supports female reproductive health education. Period.

The silence on female menstrual and reproductive health was broken at the official launch of Author Shelly-Ann Weeks’ new book “It’s my body. Period.” held on Thursday, September 13, 2018 at the Jamaica Pegasus Talk of the Town Suite.

In a thrust to address the absence of guidance facilities and materials for young girls, the book encourages open dialogue on female reproductive health and explores the frustration felt by females during their periods.

“The instructions that I got when I started my period was that I should be so good at hiding it, nobody should be able to tell,” shared Weeks in her address. “We suffer in silence because of this thought process. There are so many things we can learn from each other and the minute we start sharing stories we will realize that we can really empower each other more and that there is a lot of knowledge to be shared.”

From left: Curves Brand Manager Renee Rose; author Shelly-Ann Weeks; President of the Book Industry of Jamaica Latoya Blackwood; Zinergy International Chief Executive Officer and LASCO Master Class Inductee Ethnie Miller-Simpson mark the successful launch of It’s My Body. Period., the latest work by Weeks, with a photo op at the Jamaica Pegasus Talk of the Town Suite on Thursday, September 13, 2018

According to Curves Brand Manger Renee Rose, the book, It’s My Body. Period., compliments the ongoing narrative that Curves, a brand of sanitary napkins and title sponsor for the launch, started in 2016 to eradicate the stigma surrounding periods.

“LASCO, through our Curves “Girl Talk” initiative, travels island-wide to prep and primary schools to give young girls the opportunity to talk,” advised Rose. “To talk about their bodies, puberty and the upcoming, and seemingly unending, battle with their periods.”

“The goal is to help young girls learn more about their bodies, in a safe and open platform; where everything about feminine hygiene can be addressed and more importantly, where unfounded myths can be laid to rest.”

Curves intends to share copies of Week’s book on its upcoming school tour and encourages Corporate Jamaica to pick up a copy of the book and sponsor copies for our girls in communities across the island.

Minister of Youth, Sports, Culture and Entertainment the Honourable Olivia Grange, represented by Bureau of Gender Affairs Research Officer Tamika Peart, fully endorsed Weeks’ book and supported the mandate of her project.

“I am delighted to be endorsing this book. Period. Her flow and It is my Body, Period, serves as an important consciousness raising initiative that starts discussions that target a society that wants gender equality and social inclusion as the misconceptions of women and our reproductive systems have moral, economic, psychological and social implications on society,” said Peart.

Managing menstruation in a hygienic way should be a basic necessity and right for all women, but unfortunately, basic facilities such as sanitary napkins and disposal amenities are lacking in many schools and work places. Through the Her Flow Foundation, Weeks plans to create a space where persons are able to easily access feminine products free of cost.

“We have thousands of locations right across the island that you can go and get as many free condoms as you want. Until now, there hasn’t been anywhere you can go and get a pack of pads. Something is wrong with that. If you have an emergency or if you are not able to afford it, you should be able to go somewhere and get a pack of pads” declared Weeks.

In her address, Weeks’ revealed that there are plans to launch an island-wide campaign to encourage the public to donate to the cause. Each guest also brought a pack of Curves as a beginning donation to the project which aims to eradicate period poverty in Jamaica.

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