Ohhema, subsidiary of La Carte LTD, in partnership with the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), has donated over 1,500 Ohhema! sanitary pads to Kayayos in commemoration of the 2023 International Women’s Day (IWD). The donation and sensitization program were held under the theme, ‘Empowering Kayayos with knowledge on good feminine hygiene and reproductive health care’.
La Carte LTD, the sole producer of Ohhema! sanitary pads, mission is to help educate young woman about the importance of menstrual hygiene and general well-being. The programme saw Kayayos girls receive practical training on practicing good hygiene, including properly using and disposing of sanitary napkins.
Abena Dobmaah Amoanu Arthur, Project Manager for La Carte Company Limited, highlighted the importance of creating awareness on menstrual hygiene and female wellbeing. She emphasized that “[Ohhema!] goal is to ensure that no woman or girl goes without basic sanitary materials and [our duty] is to motivate young girls to practice good hygiene.
Our greatest interest in operation is to contribute to the creation of awareness on menstrual hygiene and female wellbeing. As part of our obligations, we want to reach out to Kayayos girls who are obviously a greater part of the marginalized group who have a greater challenge in having access to menstrual materials,” she explained.
However, recent statistics have shown that sanitary pad taxes in Ghana have risen past 40percent, driving up the cost of sanitary pads to an exorbitant level that is difficult for adolescent girls and women with lower incomes to afford.
Consequently, she made a clarion call to the government to remove taxes on pads to make them affordable for the ordinary Ghanaian woman.
“We are urging the government to either lower the tax on sanitary pads or remove taxes altogether in light of this urgent problem. If taken into account, sanitary pads will be less expensive, allowing every young woman in the country, regardless of economic status, to afford what she needs to experience menstruation and, as a result, practice menstrual hygiene,” she said.
Mariam Mensah, Head of the Social Welfare and Community Development Department at the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), applauded the collaboration with Ohhema!, which is in line with the AMA’s core function of initiating programs aimed at providing basic infrastructure for people within the assembly. She reiterated the importance of supporting any cause that seeks to help achieve these goals.
“It is the AMA’s priority to improve the well-being and healthy living among women in the Accra metro and partnering with this initiative is one of them. We are solely in support and appreciate Ohhema! for this generous deeds,” she said.
Prior to this, there had been several discussions with the Kayayos about what they would like to do to get them off the street. The majority of them want to pursue vocational training, and the AMA is mobilizing the necessary resources to fund and assist these women in achieving their goals.
This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is #EmbraceEquity, which calls for the recognition that each person has different circumstances, and allocates the exact resources and opportunities needed to reach an equal outcome. Ohhema! donation and sensitization program is a step towards achieving this goal and improving the well-being and healthy living among women in the Accra metro.