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Caption:Doris, 19, holds lint cotton she uses during menstruation. 'When am on my period, I stop playing soccer or any other sporting activities. I can’t run or play games with my friends.' Kazungula Dsitict, Zambia, August 2018.
Credit:WaterAid/ Chileshe Chanda
Usage Rights:(1) Images may be used for all purposes, globally, in perpetuity. Images may be used by third parties.
Size:8.97MB
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Key Information:Location: Simango Village, Kazungula District, Zambia
Local Partner : N/A
Project Status: N/A
Interview:Pull out quote:

"When am on my period, I stop playing soccer or any other sporting activities. I can’t run or play games with my friends."

Interviewee:

Doris, 19

Interview:

"My name is Doris, am 19 years old and in the 11th grade.

I use pieces of chitenge material and cotton wool to manage my periods. [A chitenge is a wrap originally designed for women to cover themselves from the waist downwards.] I get my pieces of cloth from my mother’s old and worn out chitenge. As for the cotton wool, I pick it from the cotton fields and stock it up for use when need arises.

It is not very comfortable to use chitenge materials for managing the period. It gets soaked very easily and heats up when am walking. Lint cotton is much more comfortable to use but too many insects are attracted to it and sometimes it iis tchy when using it. Also, cotton lint has become scarce due to the bad rainfall we had.

I don’t use pads because they are very expensive here. A pack has 10 pieces and if I have to change three to four times a day, then its way beyond what I can afford.

My mother first taught me about how to manage my period. She taught me also how to prepare these materials so that I am not embarrassed by staining my clothes or the chair where am sitting.

Washing off your blood from the pieces of cloth after use is not the easiest of things. Even if all the material staining the pieces of cloth is yours and from your body, the idea of touching it and washing it off so you can dry the clothe and reuse is not a good experience. It takes a lot.

When am on my period, I stop playing soccer or any other sporting activities. I can’t run or play games with my friends.

During my period, I don’t feel confident enough. Mostly I hang around home and engage in less activity. I come to school sometimes and other times I just stay home if my period pains are too much. The materials I use during my period are not 100 percent safe that’s why I need to be careful all the time."

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