The Cycle And The Daily Push For Female Journalists

Menstruation is a part of every woman’s life. It indicates that the girl is now a woman. Women face many problems with menstruation, pain, and mood swings. The topic is not usually discussed as it should be, but most women bear their pains alone while they still have to level up with office work schedules and domestic chores. In this article, The Humanitarian Times’ Zainab Yetunde Adam shares a fusion of personal experience and honest views of colleague about what journalists go through at work in times of the flow. 

It was the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Consultative  Meeting of Election Stakeholders in Borno state. This a crucial meeting h will determine the conduct of a free and fair 2023 elections in the state considering the effects of Insurgency, the number of parties that fielded candidates to contest, and the challenges attributed to PVCs collection. I was the only female among seven male journalists present at the meeting at Pinnacle Hotel, Maiduguri.

The goal is to pay keen attention and get all the figures the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mohammed Magaji Ibrahim, presented. But here I am, stuck up. To say I didn’t know about my flow or how I will react to it is a lie since it is a natural routine, and Thanks to my period tracking calendar that usually keeps track of the days and the symptoms, that came in handy.

My pad was soaked, and of course, the restroom was in the hotel. But, the fear of infection, mood swings, and uncertainty/procrastination were my symptoms.

Well, I later identified a female restroom that is less used around the poolside. Of course, the toilet is clean, and the Water Closet is functional, but I became uncomfortable after using the bathroom. I drafted the story and sent it to the office for vetting before I left the location immediately.

Lucky enough, I met a senior colleague, Hamza Suleiman, whom I requested should please drop me at home without telling him why I wanted to get back urgently, and he did, for me to clean up myself and get back to the office to file in the report ASAP (As Soon As Possible)

The Normal, health challenging part of women’s life

According to UNICEF, around 26 percent of the global (Female) population is of reproductive age. Most women menstruate each month for about two to seven days. Yet, as normal as it is, menstruation is stigmatized worldwide. 

Amina Mohammed Ali constituted a part of these statistics with her blink story. As an On-Air Personality (OAP) working in Al-Ansar Radio and Television Maiduguri, she will not risk going dead on air while experiencing menstrual pain.

Amina described working during her period as complicated.

“If allowed, I would love to take some days off during my period, but I appealed to all organizations and schools to provide sanitary pads for all ladies and a comfortable place where they will change it at intervals.”

To buttress Amina’s appeal for hygienic toilets, data from UNICEF showed that Poor menstrual hygiene can pose physical health risks and has been linked to reproductive and urinary tract infections.

The cycle and the push

Over 800 million adolescent girls and women worldwide are menstruating on any given day. Menstrual-aged girls and women (12 to 49 years) represent a significant and growing portion of the 1.2 billion women employed globally, with women representing nearly half of the global labor market.

To a Principal Reporter in Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) Maiduguri, Pauline Kuje Vana, covering beats when the cycle comes with a stomach ache or heavy flow is challenging and affects her timely deliverance.

“Seen as usual, I bear the pain and try to balance office work, house chores, and family time, all in an effort for peace to reign. “

She said considering the cultural practices that it is not normal for a woman to share her menstrual challenges with men, it will be advisable for the authority concerned to give four days off duty monthly for reproductive-age women to address this periodic health concern.

Deterrence to the goals

A 5th-year Female student journalist of Pure and Applied Biology at Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Mariam Hamzat, schedules and try to finish up beats, datelines, and lectures before the commencement of her menstruation.

“There was a day I  went to the field, and my period started. I have to go off the field for a while. The story was something I had to cover very fast, but I wasn’t my normal self at that time. I had to add additional days to finish up, which affects the delivery time frame.”

Miss Hamzat said that having an understanding boss can help in addition to taking menstrual leave so that women can work from home or in a comfortable zone during menstruation.

“Workplaces should be made life realistic and not too strict,” she appealed.


Most people get their first period between ages 12, but some people get them earlier or later than that. Most people stop getting their period between 45 and 55 years old — menopause. Menstrual-related symptoms vary from person to person. While some women cruise through their monthly cycle, others experience a range of tasking side effects. These often include cramps, backaches, migraines, Mood changes, Trouble sleeping, Food cravings, Bloating, Breast tenderness, and Acne.

Menstrual leave regulations have not yet been included in Nigerian labor laws. Zambia is the only African country that has granted women the right to take a day, per month, off work for menstruation. However, Klasha, a cross-border commerce technology company with offices in San Francisco and Lagos, has actioned a new menstrual leave policy for its female employees. The policy provides five menstrual leave days for female employees.  

It will be pertinent for the relevant authorities to legislate days off for menstruating women and girls and ensure the law is not taken for granted. 

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