Today is Menstrual Hygiene Day!
Imagine, there is a whole day dedicated to breaking the silence and ending the taboo that surrounds menstruation and hygiene – this is without a shadow of a doubt, a good thing!
When you consider that poor menstrual hygiene is tied to a lack of education because of stigma, shame and limited access to clean menstrual products, there is definitely a social obligation to ensure the millions of women and girls around the world, are equipped well enough to manage menstruation and the most hygienic ways possible.
Having a period is normal, yet period poverty is real!
Imagine being restricted by something that is natural?
May seem a bridge too far for many but there is indeed a large population of women and girls that suffer massively because of their periods and that’s on top of any menstruation related situations such as cramps and fatigue.
And please, let’s not be naïve enough to think this is happening somewhere else in the world.
Period poverty and negative social norms occur right here in the UK
In fact, a study by Plan International UK tells us 57% of the 1000 young women between 14 and 21 that took part, have experienced negative comments connected directly to their periods whilst two thirds of the school aged girls that took part, claimed they had missed either a full day or at least part of a day from school because of their periods.
If we add that together with the fact that 1 in 10 young women have been unable to afford sanitary products at some point, it’s clear to see something needs to be done.
Personally I think basic sanitary products should be available to all – whether that’s in the form of a monthly allowance or whatever, the government just needs to sort it.
Having a period isn’t a choice…its nature so free up the tings init?
Anyways, I digress!
This period poverty extends across the world…
It gets so bad in parts it hardly bares thinking about. I mean just imagine having to use scraps of old paper, cloth and cotton to protect yourself as you bleed? And then to top it off, clean water and functional toilets are hard to come by whilst privacy is practically non-existent.
Difficult to digest but that’s real for some!
These facts show us, it’s as clear as day that the need to empower women and girls through good menstrual hygiene is essential!
So what exactly is Menstrual Hygiene Day?
Their website tells us this:
Menstrual Hygiene Day (MH Day) is a global advocacy platform that brings together the voices and actions of non-profits, government agencies, individuals, the private sector and the media to promote good menstrual hygiene management (MHM) for all women and girls. More specifically, MH Day:
- breaks the silence, raises awareness and changes negative social norms around MHM, and
- engages decision-makers to increase the political priority and catalyse action for MHM, at global, national and local levels.
On an individual basis, there are a few things we can do…
Social media is a big one…and powerful too!
Support the MH day campaigns by commenting, sharing and liking. You can use the hashtag: #ItsTimeForAction to ensure its reaching.
Another great way of showing your support is to purchase sanitary products from the brands that contribute towards the cause too.
Popular brand; Always is one of them.
To date, Always have contributed over 14 million pads as part of their #EndPeriodPoverty campaign that was launched back in March 2018 – amazing right?
(Click this link to read more on the campaign).
So yes, whilst sadly many women and girls are suffering and experiencing anxiety and depression because of all the above, amazingly, so many people are trying to help…
That definitely feels good to know!