Fri06222018

LAST_UPDATEThu, 21 Jun 2018 10pm

Because Of God’s Orders, Schoolgirls Are Forbidden From Crossing The River During Their Periods

In what might be the weirdest news you will read today, BBC reports, girls in Ghana have been forbidden from crossing a river while they are menstruating.

The ban was ordered by a local river god, and apparently it extends to all woman on Tuesdays — which means that even if a woman is not on her menstrual cycle, she is still prohibited from crossing the River Ofin.

Local human activists are up in arms as the ban might deprive some of the schoolgirls from their education, as some of them need to get across to get to their schools.

Furthermore, it violates the Educational Rights of the girls as spelt out in Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) which states that education must be made available to all.

Unicef's menstrual hygiene ambassador, Shamima Muslim Alhassan, had strong words for the ban.

"It seems the gods are really powerful aren't they?" she said to BBC Pidgin.

"Sometimes I think that we need to ask for some form of accountability from these gods who continue to bar a lot of things from happening, to account for how they have used the tremendous power that we have given them."

Ghana's Central Regional Minister, Kwamena Duncan meanwhile has stated that he will engage in a discussion with Ashanti Regional Minister to work out a solution. While its Deputy Education Minister, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, says the ministry will ensure schoolgirls would not have to cross a river to get to their school.

The ban adds to a host of problems Ghanaian girls have regarding their menstruation. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), estimates that one in 10 girls in the region does not attend school each time they menstruate.

A World Bank report also stated that 11.5 million Ghanaian women lack the appropriate hygiene and sanitation management facilities to handle their menstruation.

The ban also highlights a bigger problem many African countries still have with harmful superstitious beliefs.

-mD