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Caption:Munyes, 44, 'During my period I find it easy and very normal to make a hole in the ground and sit on top of it for blood to drain in it.' Karamoja Region, Uganda, September 2018.
Credit:WaterAid/ James Kiyimba
Usage Rights:(1) Images may be used for all purposes, globally, in perpetuity. Images may be used by third parties.
Size:14.47MB
3805 x 5707px
Key Information:Location: Ariamaoi village, Nabiratuk Sub County, Nakapiripirt District, Karamoja Region, Uganda
Local Partner: Welthungerhilfe
Donor: The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust through Carter Centre
Project code:
Project Status: Post-intervention
Interview:Pull-out quote:

“In most cases when I am on my period, I feel out of place because I don’t want anyone to know what’s happening. I am always shy, thinking that someone may notice what I am going through. Even when I am eating food with other people I eat first so that no one gets to know that I am on my period.”

Interview Details:

Munyes, 44 , from Karamoja Region, Uganda.

Interview:

During my period I find it easy and very normal to make a hole in the ground and sit on top of it for blood to drain in it.

As a woman, when I am on my period, I can tell that blood is coming.

I make a small hole in the ground in a private place - sometimes under a tree or in the garden. I sit on top of the hole targeting blood to flow into it. I sit comfortably spreading my skirt, even if someone is passing by they cannot know what I am doing. It’s like I am resting.

When I am done I cover the hole very well with soil. In our Karamoja culture when a woman is on her period, other people should never get to know.

I find managing my period using this method very convenient because buying sanitary pads is costly and sometimes when blood comes there is no time to run to the shop to buy sanitary pads. I can’t run, letting people see my blood; I would rather make a hole in the ground to sit. Some people think they are allergic to modern sanitary pads.

Whilst growing up, the mature women including my mum taught us the different methods of managing our periods, but I preferred this method of making a hole in the ground.

No man, not even your husband should see your blood. Even me, I have taught all my daughters how to use this method.

I am happy and confident when using this method because I always find a private place where no man will see me. This gives me confidence that I am safe. I have to sit on top of this hole until I stop bleeding; thereafter I cover the hole with soil to the extent that no one can ever notice any blood.

When I have my period for three or four days, it means each day I have to make a hole. In case the blood flow starts at night, I have a piece of old clothe I use. In the morning I go to the river to wash it in a certain type of mud, which removes blood and smell.

When I am sat on the on the hole there is no any other activity I do but if there are other women nearby we can converse. During menstruation I don’t do anything, not even milking cows or going to the garden until blood stops flowing.

In most cases when I am on my period, I feel out of place because I don’t want anyone to know what’s happening. I am always shy, thinking that someone may notice what I am going through. Even when I am eating food with other people I eat first so that no one gets to know that I am on my period.”

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