Go to AfricaBib home

Go to AfricaBib home African Women Go to database home

bibliographic database
Previous page New search

The free AfricaBib App for Android is available here

Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Traditional menstrual practices: sexual and reproductive health and gender implications for adolescent girls
Author:Kotoh, Agnes Millicent
Periodical:Research Review (ISSN 0855-4412)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Ghana
West Africa
popular beliefs
gender inequality
reproductive health
Anthropology, Folklore, Culture
Manners and customs
Teenage girls
Abstract:This paper discusses misconceptions and discriminatory practices related to menstruation in Ghana. Misconceptions about menstruation expose girls to sexual risks - such as sexual harassment and sexually transmitted infections - and negatively impact on women's empowerment. The paper is based on data collected among 300 girls aged 13-19 years from 3 ethnic groups (the Akwapim and the Krobo in the Eastern Region and the Tongu in the Volta Region). It appears that menstruation is considered impure and dirty. Most girls perceive menstruation as waste blood and believe that the menstrual blood can pollute sacred places and objects. Hence they are careful not to violate the menstrual taboos. Traditional menstrual practices in Ghana are social rules with repressive tendencies that promote gender-based discrimination, inhibit women's autonomy and are meant to make women remain on the periphery in submissive positions in their communities. Education is needed at family and community levels to correct misconceptions about menstruation and stop traditional menstrual practices that undermine the well-being of females. Bibliogr., notes, sum. in English and French. [ASC Leiden abstract]