Interview with our MFS student Louise!
Hi Louise! Tell us, where are you?
I’m in Windhoek, in Namibia!
What are you doing there?
I’m doing a field study for my Master’s thesis in Global Health about how boys are included in education about sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), with focus on the education on menstruation. I interview boys on how they perceive their own role in SRHR and what they think about boys learning about menstruation!
Cool! How long are you staying in Namibia?
I’m here for 7 weeks.
How come you became interested in SRHR and menstrual rights?
I have always been interested in human rights and especially girls and women’s rights. And when I saw an article about South Africa’s president planning an action to distribute free sanitary pads to school girls I wanted to learn more! This led to a bachelor’s thesis on South African girls’ perceptions about menstruating in school, and the usage of menstrual cups.
Then why did you choose to research boys’ part in education about menstruation?
Well, during our field study in South Africa we realised that boys have a big part in girls’ health. Girls we spoke to witnessed about boys bullying girls who had their period. Therefore it is important to understand how boys think about menstruation and how education about the subject can improve. I’m not saying it’s not important to research about girls’ experiences; it’s important to learn about both perspectives.
What’s the best part of Windhoek so far?
The warm weather and the sun! And all the nice and welcoming people! Everyone I have met have been so nice to me.
And the worst thing about Windhoek?
The worst thing is how present apartheid is. Windhoek is a small city and residues from the time apartheid was institutionalised are very visible. The residential areas and the schools are very segregated; white people mostly live in the city in houses with fences and have a housekeeper, and black people live mostly in townships outside the city.
Thank you Louise Johansson for sharing your work! We look forward to read your finished report!