28th May Marked as Global Menstrual Hygiene Day (MH Day)

Monday, May 28, 2018 Women Health News
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NEW DELHI, May 28, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --

Today, on Global Menstrual Hygiene Day (MH Day), NGOs, UN agencies, governments NGOs, UN agencies, governments and corporates all over the world will join forces to raise awareness and catalyse action for one of the most neglected social issues: menstruation and menstrual hygiene management (MHM). From Australia to Brazil, from Sweden to South Africa, there will be concerts, rallies, educational events and social media campaigns.

 WASH United is the initiator of MH Day and acts as its International Secretariat.

Menstruation is a normal biological process, wherein about 800 million women and girls menstruates on any given day. Yet, periods continue to be shrouded

in taboos and myths. Women and girls continue to be stigmatised and excluded. The combination of negative social norms, poor education, lack of access to hygiene products, inadequate sanitation infrastructure and disposal options have severe consequences on the health, education and employment opportunities, and on overall social status of women and girls.

In order to change this, WASH United started Menstrual Hygiene Day in 2014. Since then, it has grown into a veritable movement, with more than 420 partner organisations globally. In 2017, there were 350 MH Day events in 54 countries of which 67 were in India alone. MH Day reached more than 160 million people through digital campaigning alone.

In India, 50% of girls have no knowledge about menstruation and when they get their period, it leads to fear and poor menstrual hygiene practices. Education about menstruation and menstrual hygiene management (MHM) is critical to empower girls to manage their menstruation safely, hygienically, with confidence and without stigma.

In line with this year's theme of empowerment, the highlight video of the MH Day campaign in India is a hip hop artist, Dee MC, rapping about her personal encounters with stigma and asking young people to end the silence around menstruation. The campaign is led by WASH United and brings together a wide range of partners including, Change.org, Youth ki Awaaz, Culture Machine, Arré, Terribly Tiny Tales, SheThePeople, DASRA and Love Matters India. The call to action of the campaign is a petition to make education about menstruation compulsory in schools. So that every girl is empowered to manage her period safely, hygienically, with confidence and without shame. The petition has already crossed over 500 supporters and the campaign will continue to reach out to people for support as every voice is important and every voice matters because menstruation matters.

Nirmala Nair, Managing Director, WASH United India: 

"It is unacceptable that in the year 2018, millions of women and girls in India are held back by something as natural and normal as their periods. This doesn't just harm women and girls, but the entire country. Solving this challenge has to start with education, so that all girls know what menstruation is and how to manage it. That is why we're calling on Hon. Prakash Javadekar to make education about menstrual hygiene compulsory in schools. If you can do that, we will work with you to create educational tools to make it happen. And once we reach girls in schools, we would work towards reaching girls who are not a part of the formal education system."

Thorsten Kiefer, global CEO of WASH United: 

"It is heartening to see how many organizations and people are standing up for women and girls around Menstrual Hygiene Day, in India and around the world. It's time that we speak openly about periods, every day. A girl born today should know about period taboos and stigma not from experience, but only from history books."

About WASH United

WASH United is the initiator of MH Day and acts as its International Secretariat. WASH United coordinates the global communication for MH Day and manages the MH Day partnership of more than 420 partner organisations. It supports the partner organization with a content package which helps them to organize local events, local campaigns and to contribute to the global campaign. We also maintain global communication through the website and newsletter.

2018 MH Day campaign hashtags: 

#mhday2018

#NoMoreLimits

#menstruationmatters

Social media channels: 

twitter.com/MHDay28May

http://www.facebook.com/Menstrualhygieneday

http://www.facebook.com/MHDayIndia/

http://www.instagram.com/menstrualhygieneday/

Media Contact: Nirmala Nair nirmala.nair@wash-united.org +91-11-41650903 Managing Director WASH United

menstrualhygieneday.org



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