The narrative of sex and sexuality continues to be male dominated to a point where women resort to extreme measures to keep up with societal expectations of a small tight vagina. The market is currently flooded with an assortment of creams, salts, soaps and herbs which are all created to cleanse, rejuvenate and reduce the size of the vagina. These vaginal condiments can be purchased by anyone without any consultation, prescription or clear dosage and usage instructions which can be deemed extremely dangerous considering the sensitivity of the skin tissues in and around the vagina.
Why do women resort to this? According to a professional Counsellor Tshepo Shoshong there is an enormous psycho social aspect that needs to be considered when trying to understand why some women resort to these acts. âSocial Media plays a huge role in our lives and we have influencers with millions of followers claiming to undergo vaginal rejuvenation to keep themselves tight and endorsements from renowned celebrity medical professionals, followers just follow suit without any form of research or verification,â says Shoshong. He further stated that it seems like nowadays everyone has an opinion about lady parts on how they should look, smell or feel and should someone find themselves not conforming to the stereotypes they fall victim of shaming and it tampers with their self-esteem thus leading them to the herbs, creams and soaps.
Shoshong points out that most of this pressure comes from men who mess up womenâs self-esteem to cover up for their lack of sexual prowess. âThere is a lot of ignorance when it comes to the body of a woman by most men, there are women who have never experienced an orgasm whilst having sexual intercourse with a man but can easily pleasure themselves,â he said.
The pressure to be the perfect woman to maintain a relationship results in what according to Shoshong is known as Body Dysmorphia; a mental disorder where someone is never satisfied with how they look and is constantly trying to fix themselves. Shoshong further stated that the reality is that men control sex and sexuality and it is all about them and for this reason orgasms remain a myth to women. In desperation for love, loyalty and commitment women resort to harmful practices to try and keep it interesting for their partners.
Gynaecologist, Dr Ndiwo Baisana Memo explained that, âThere are a lot of products in the market that are said to be able to tighten the vagina unfortunately most have not been medically studied or proven.â Dr Memo further stated that the vagina is actually a muscle which contracts and relaxes naturally whenever stimulated during intercourse and there are pelvic muscle strengthening exercises that have been proven to improve the pelvic muscles performance including those of the vagina as an alternative.
Regarding the use of products that are inserted into the vagina Dr Memo explained that, âThey can have adverse effects including but not limited to allergic reactions, vaginal infections such as bacteria vaginosis and repeated candida overgrowth due to interference with the pH of the vagina.â
The publication also spoke to a few ladies regarding this matter who chose to remain anonymous, one stated that âĂ used some steaming herbs to try something new after reading a lot of positive reviews about it on social media, I did not witness any really change except an increased libido and I wouldnât recommend it to anyone because I think it is just one of those cosmetic things that no one really needs.â Another lady claimed to never have used them but believes women use them to reduce the size of their vaginas for increased sexual pleasure. She further stated that some use them for cleansing their wombs and regulate their periods as the herbs are said to have medicinal features.
Unless products have been medically it tested it is advised for women to seek medical help for any enquiries regarding their intimate body parts and should not be pressured into any harmful practices that could lead to severe reproductive implications.
Grant Thornton has successfully steered Tshwaragano Primary School on its digitization journey, through sponsoring Botswanaâs first public school state-of-the art imported interactive tech panel named âThuto the digitiserâ.
The platform is an interactive panel which is a classroom-ready solution to support a healthy and collaborative learning experience. It aides in reducing the use of papers and promotes going digital. Thuto the digitizer comes equipped with tablets that utilize digital education curriculums, powered by 100MB Public WIFI and 50MB GDN.
Feedback received from the schoolâs Vice Principle is that the panel has aided greatly in curriculum revision of the Standard 7 exam-writing students, solving the problem of lack of teaching aids and resources.
He light-heartedly noted that, âNot only is âThuto the digitiserâ being used as necessary, it is used more than necessary. The children have a renewed interest in learning and we are looking forward to seeing the positive impact in their results.â
Furthermore, the students were excited about the possibilities of exploring the future through Thuto and expressed their heartfelt gratitude to Grant Thornton for digitizing their school.
They have also expressed that the contribution will add meaningfully to the development of their academic process and will help eliminate most of the classroom resources limitations they have experienced in the past. Making it a proud step in closing the âdigital technologyâ gap between private and public schools in Botswana.
In a statement, the firm disclosed that; âmaking a meaningful sustainable contribution to the country is a passion that runs deep in the hearts of the people of Grant Thornton. With an aim to fulfil their responsibility towards the nation, Grant Thornton has aligned their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities around Botswanaâs National Vision 2036 and governmentâs Reset Agenda which includes the implementation of the Digital Transformation Strategy that drives the digitization of the public sector.â
In the past years, Grant Thornton has supported several educational facilities, including Learn to Play Bontleng community, Tshwaragano Primary School, Gamodubu Child Care Trust, Pudulogong Rehabilitation Centre and Dinaletsana Development Centre.
The firm is hopeful that this initiative will spread across more schools in all parts of the country with the support of the public and private sector.
Grant Thornton is not at this endeavor alone. They have noted that they have developed strategic partnerships with like-minded organizations that catapulted the cause with tangible results, including local private and public organizations such as Botswana Investment and Trade Centre, Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Gaborone City Council, Orange Botswana, Smart Botswana, Gladwin Technologies, Ministries of Basic Education and Village Development council. Technology provider, Gladwin Technologies has been involved in digitization projects in over 25,000 schools in India and Grant Thornton created the link between them and the Government of Botswana with the intension that their experience helps spread Botswanaâs educational digitization dream across schools in the country. The Ministry of Local Government has expressed interest to collaborate further with Grant Thornton to realize their âReset Agendaâ dream.
A few sustainable facts about âThuto the digitiserâ:
Widespread access to digitized learning material thus eliminating the impact that the shortage of textbooks.
Germ-Resistant Screen, ensuring the health and safety of learners and teachers at all times.
Smart Eye-Care solutions that can function intuitively, ensuring that the childrenâs growth is not impacted.
Instant share software designed for seamless wireless presentation and collaboration.
The World Bank says in Eastern and Southern Africa, about 89% of ten-year-old children are unable to read and understand a short text, reflecting a high percentage of learning poverty that was exacerbated during the pandemic.
Globally, Sub-Saharan Africa counties to have the lowest participation rate in tertiary education despite enrollment doubling globally between 2000 and 2013 across all regions of the world.
In many of the region, especially the fragile and conflict-prone countries, societal barriers continue to persist, keeping many girls and boys out of school and preventing women especially from being educated and becoming equal members of the society.
World Banks stresses that economies today require skills at advanced levels and a robust education system in a country must be multi-prolonged and equipped to impart knowledge and skills at all levels of the labor market.
However, achieving optimal educational outcomes today is at best, the World Bank said, challenging, as the world grapples with its worst education crisis in history following the COVID-19 mess.
The Bank notes contributor to high school dropout rates in upper primary schools as inadequate access to sanitary towels among adolescent girls.
A UNESCO report estimates that one in ten girls in Sub-Saharan Africa misses school during their menstrual cycle. By some estimates this equals as much as 20% of a given school year.