Menstrual Hygiene Day dedicated to ending the hesitation around menstruation Worldwide, 2015: “Let’s end the hesitation around menstruation” are the words that will be heard across the world on the second annual Menstrual Hygiene Day on 28 May 2015. This will be celebrated every 28th May. Go to menstrualhygieneday.org to find out more.
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Menstrual Hygiene Day (MH Day) is an awareness platform that works year-round to break taboos and raise awareness about the importance of good menstrual hygiene management (MHM) for women and adolescent girls. Initiated by WASH United in 2014, the day has garnered the support of over 230 global partners that are unified in their commitment to make good menstrual health and hygiene a priority worldwide.
Despite the fact that menstruation is a healthy biological process, in many places all over the world it is approached with hesitance and misinformation because of deeply–rooted cultural taboos.
The silence around menstruation limits women’s and adolescent girls’ access to relevant and important information about their bodies, directly affecting their health, education and human rights:
- In many traditional Hindu homes in India, girls and women face restrictive taboos around menstruation, such as being denied entry to the temple and the kitchen
- In many parts of sub-Saharan Africa, girls can miss up to 5 days of school a month or drop out entirely due to insufficient access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities and sanitary supplies (SNV/IRC International Water & Sanitation Centre: Study on menstrual management in Uganda, 2013)
- Despite their widespread availability, many low-income and/or homeless girls and women in the inner cities of the US simply cannot afford sanitary supplies.
On the first Menstrual Hygiene Day in 2014, events took place all over the world, with politicians and representatives from health, education and gender ministries in attendance.
This year, the focus will be to “End the hesitation around menstruation” and challenge societal norms that claim that periods are shameful or dirty. “Breaking down global taboos so that we can discuss this natural bodily function has positive impacts beyond a woman’s reproductive health,” says Dr. Dani Barrington, WASH Specialist and Strategic Advisor for MH Day in Australia, “it is of vital importance to her dignity.”