First Lady Diani Prince Drew Joins Fellow First Ladies at Menstrual Hygiene Initiative on the Sidelines of CARICOM Heads Meeting

First Ladies Arya Ali of Guyana, Diani Prince-Drew of Saint Kitts and Nevis, Eloise Gonsalves of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Ann Marie Davis of The Bahamas, and other attendees at the Menstrual Hygiene Initiative event at the Umana Yana in Kingston, Georgetown, Guyana.
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Georgetown, Guyana – In a collaborative effort to address period poverty and promote menstrual hygiene, First Lady Diani Prince-Drew, along with First Ladies Eloise Gonsalves of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Ann Marie Davis of The Bahamas, were honoured guests at the Menstrual Hygiene Initiative spearheaded by First Lady Arya Ali of Guyana. The initiative occurred yesterday, February 26th, 2024, at the Umana Yana in Kingston, Georgetown, Guyana, coinciding with the Forty-Sixth Regular Meeting of the CARICOM Heads Conference.

First Ladies Arya Ali of Guyana, Diani Prince-Drew of Saint Kitts and Nevis, Eloise Gonsalves of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Ann Marie Davis of The Bahamas, and other attendees at the Menstrual Hygiene Initiative event at the Umana Yana in Kingston, Georgetown, Guyana.

Since its inception in September 2021, the Menstrual Hygiene Initiative, championed by the Office of the First Lady of Guyana, has been committed to eradicating period poverty in the region. First Lady Ali’s vision aims to ensure that every girl has access to essential menstrual hygiene products, emphasizing the importance of dignity and inclusivity.

During the event, First Lady Ali highlighted the ongoing challenges, including the lack of access to resources and facilities for managing menstrual cycles among Caribbean girls. She emphasized the impact of stigma on cultural perceptions surrounding menstruation, which often leads to the exclusion of girls and undermines their confidence and social status.

First Lady Prince-Drew emphasized the critical importance of destigmatizing discussions around menstrual hygiene and identifying period poverty as a pressing issue affecting vulnerable females. She commended First Lady Ali’s initiative for its significant impact on the lives of thousands of women and girls, stressing the urgency of advocacy and engagement to safeguard their well-being.

“There still exists today stigma around discussions related to menstrual hygiene. As a result, we fail to properly identify period poverty as a critical issue affecting girls and women. Not being able to afford or have access to sanitary hygiene products is an issue that can be debilitating both physically and mentally for vulnerable females. This ‘private’ problem demands urgent advocacy and engagement to safeguard the well-being of those who menstruate. For this reason, I commend First Lady Arya Ali’s Menstrual Hygiene Initiative for making a difference in the lives of thousands of women and girls, and an example of the importance of gender sensitivity as we seek to improve the lives of others and empower women.”

First Lady Prince-Drew, known for her dedication to the arts, social justice, and empowering women expressed her commitment to women’s empowerment in her adopted home of Saint Kitts and Nevis, pledging to support non-governmental and charitable organizations in these areas.

According to First Lady Ali, the Menstrual Hygiene Initiative has provided over 32,000 schoolgirls annually with free sanitary pads, ensuring accessibility irrespective of socioeconomic background or geographic location.

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