Kwani Unanyesha?

“You look moody today!  “Kwani unanyesha?” 



Does that question ring a bell?



Read this installment to discover how to explore the issue of Menstrual life and support a female colleague like a professional Counsellor, 



You see, Menstrual awareness drive is not just a rural phenomenal, in this newsletter, you’ll find out that it’s just an urban concern, as well as in our workplaces…



Read more as we unpack these concerns, 




Stigma in Counselling Vs Stigma in Menstrual Life



This stigma is grossly a societal and global phenomenal. In some communities, women are not allowed to touch food during period. 



In my community, which is a bible believing community, the period is a “Disgusting, unclean and private.” In fact, during one marital talk, one speaker told women that “the used period products are the last thing your men want to see, because it takes away their sexual craving”



He was facilitating on Menstrual hygiene and Sex Life. 

You see, unlike counselling, the way to break stigma in menstrual life is through transparent conversations that’s seeking rather than avoiding, 



By calling it out by its rightful name. We’ve come a long way. The first advert to use the word “period” on a national TV was in 1985 and it caused an uproar. 


Right now, advertising for menstrual products has made great strides with many great dialogues and imagery. From using clear liquid to using red which is the color of blood. 




Menstrual Life at Workplace



In the recent times, and with the normalization of mental health talks, menstrual cycle was at the core of the issues…



However, organizations were yet to come with terms with dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation) which gets in the way of female colleagues and may require an off. 



The question of whether this can be included in your yearly leave days or whether this is received with “There are a lot of us who also go through periods and we show up for work” is a conversation we’re still warming up to.



The issue of stigma is also still seen at the workplace because a female colleague will not say “today I’m on periods” for fear of period shaming.



And to avoid sympathy which makes them look weak. Who likes sympathy anyways…



 If this is the case, imagine expecting a girl in high school or Upper primary school to open up about their challenges.




Period Poverty 



As cliché as this is about to sound, girls still miss some lessons because they can’t access period products. Of all the other sources of Kenya’s GDP, period products should be the last in the list…



Because despite many concerted efforts to support disadvantaged girls by well-wishing Citizens, the support is not sustainable. So if you are reading this and you’re a government advisor or you know someone, 



Remind them that menstrual hygiene is a right and not a privilege.



And that the issue fits in the spectrum of the things that can be addressed as under the bottom up needs.




Psychological Side of Menstrual Life



Put yourself in the shoe of an adolescent girl who goes to a school that doesn’t have sanitation and hygiene facilities. 



During her menstruation days she will not have access to clean water and she won’t be able to dispose her sanitary pads properly.



The whole day she will have to deal with the discomfort caused by cramps and the poor facilities which do not allow her to manage her menstrual materials with dignity.



This will make her not to concentrate in class since it affects her psychologically and therefore affects her academic performance. 



To make the situation worse, she is unable to afford sanitary pads and unfortunately she ends up having blood stains on her uniform.



The embarrassment would lead to low self-esteem which would affect her mental health in a big way.




Call for Action

Menstrual hygiene is a right and not a privilege.



The government should complement the work of organizations and Individual initiatives to make period products accessible.



You can only do so much because other amenities like access to clean water, and clean facilities require a huge budget…



It is disheartening that some public schools do not have disposal bins and you still get used menstrual products in unlikely places. 



Proper menstrual hygiene management is crucial for academic success and achieving one’s full potential.



Lack of information about menstruation can lead to negative attitudes, bullying, and gender-based violence.



Poor menstrual health exacerbates social and economic inequalities, negatively impacting education, health, safety, and human development.



Menstruation should not be shameful, but rather seen as a normal and healthy bodily function.



By continuing to engage in dialogue and psychoeducation, together we will end the stigma surrounding menstruation and support our sisters, daughters, and mothers.




Be Like a Counsellor 



So instead of labelling, how about asking our female

colleagues to tell us how they feel about this whole issue…



When your female colleague looks moody. Explore like a counsellor by asking “You look different today, mind sharing what’s going on?”



It’s time to retire the rude question, “Kwani unanyesha?” and instead show empathy and understanding towards menstruating individuals.



Remember, a little kindness goes a long way.



To your success 



Micah Langat from KIPC



𝗣.𝗦𝗙𝗔𝗜𝗥 𝗪𝗔𝗥𝗡𝗜𝗡𝗚: We’ve only about 9,000 Accredited counsellors Vs the staggering number of issues requiring the attention of counsellors in our communities. 



As you may have noticed, Menstrual Cycle falls within the purview of issues surrounding work life mental health.

And now as we venture into workplaces, there is room for everyone…



Perhaps it’s time you cross over from being a mental health champion to becoming a Professional counselor. What say you? 



So if you are aware KIPC is currently working with four international partners and GoK on fee subsidy program…



That cater Kshs 63,000 for the Professional Diploma in Psychological counselling, Kshs 21,000 for the Certificate in Psychological Counselling, and upto Kshs 15,000 for other signature programs…



Click here to check and apply 



In the section “course applied for,” there is a drop down menu for new professional courses to explore if you’re already a counsellor, Psychologist or a member of the helping profession seeking to spice up your career. 



So If you’re looking to acquire Counselling as your second career, and really practice it in a legal framework, 

Take advantage of the partial sponsorship available this week ONLY.



And if you’re not sure what you want, or want to find out more about this  Counselling, join some of our upcoming FULLY SPONSORED Psychological webinars and see if counselling is a good fit for you. Links to our CSR webinars are shared exclusively in my WhatsApp Broadcast. 



Click here to join and exit at will



Kenya Institute of Professional Counselling (KIPC)

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1 comment

  1. The goal of World Menstrual Hygiene Day is to celebrate the importance of good menstrual hygiene for women and girls, to raise awareness about the challenges of period poverty and break the stigma surrounding menstrual life.

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