Sunday the 28th of May is Menstrual Hygiene Day (MHD). Worldwide, events and activities will raise awareness about the multiple challenges women and girls face around their menstruation: misinformation and taboos, a lack of private toilets with water and soap, and limited access to affordable, hygienic menstrual products. The consequences of this include severe health conditions, social exclusion, and lost economic and educational opportunities, as women miss work and girls skip classes or drop out of school entirely.
To ensure that this topic is a priority not just on MHD, but every single day, a new Menstrual Hygiene Alliance (MH Alliance) has been launched by Wash United and Simavi, and in partnership with international advocacy organization Global Citizen. The launch is the start of a multi-year effort to increase the priority for menstrual hygiene.
‘We want to help turn menstruation into what it really is – a perfectly normal part of life’
The MH Alliance wants menstruation to be a normal part of life that doesn’t hold women and girls back in any way. ‘We want every woman and girl to be able to manage her menstruation hygienically, with dignity and without stigma,’ explains Ewout van Galen, programme director of Simavi. ‘We call upon governments, NGOs, development partners, the private sector and the general public to help achieve this goal by 2030.’
‘It’s bloody time that all women and girls are empowered to fully and equally participate in society and live a healthy and productive life,’ says Thorsten Kiefer, CEO of Wash United. ‘We are joining forces with organizations worldwide to help turn menstruation into what it really is – a perfectly normal part of life.’