Womanhood, menses and legislating on the pangs of dysmenorrhea: an essay in African public health and social policy

Anthony Afe. Asekhauno
University of Benin, Department of Philosophy, Nigeria

Korespondenční autor: Anthony Afe. Asekhauno (anthony.asekhauno@uniben.edu; anthony.aaasekhauno@gmail.com)

ISSN 1804-7181 (On-line)

Full verze:
Full version

Submitted:11. 6. 2015
Accepted: 15. 9. 2015
Published online: 31. 12. 2015

Summary

Menstrual condition is a fact of womanhood, a source of discomfort but also the posterity of humanity. It is uncommon to think that if men had been natured in the way typical of women, the existing social or interpersonal, legal, political and cultural perceptions of menses would have been unpalatable to them – though this sounds male chauvinism. However, one cannot but recognize the fact that feminine physiological and physical natures and roles so definitively make a woman a unique being; this uniqueness inevitably and inextricably put women in the shackles of nature – with little physical/personal and social freedom. It is this idea of un-freedom that makes the woman condition worse in most African cultures – where women are mostly regarded as nothing but wives and keepers of the home; some religious tenets tend to worsen this condition. With this natural and social background, women’s quest for gender equality seems unnecessary. This article argued that justice demands that society recognizes the unique nature and role of woman to humanity and so should fashion out definite programme to mitigate the pangs dysmenorrheal. Hence it proposed that the burden of contemporary African states is the need for and an enhancement of increased government, funding and caring for the menstruating woman; indeed a new legislation (in the formula proposed in this work) on social management of the pangs of dysmenorrheal is an urgent desideratum.

Keywords: dysmenorrhea; hypothesis; humanity/gender-role; jurisprudence; legislation

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