Menstrual hygiene is vital to keep girls healthy and in school worldwide. It is important to understand that menstruation hygiene enables women and girls to reach life's fullest potential.
Menstrual Hygiene Day 2017
May 28 is Menstrual Hygiene Day (MH Day); a day dedicated to bringing awareness around the vital role that good menstrual hygiene management (MHM) plays in empowering women and adolescent girls worldwide to become all that they can be. The vision behind MH Day is a world in which every woman and girl is able to manage her menstruation in a hygienic way- in safety, privacy, and with dignity- wherever they are.
28 May was chosen for MH day because May is the fifth month of the year, and women's menstruation period lasts an average of five days. The 28th was chosen because the average menstrual cycle is 28 days.
This year’s theme is Education about Menstruation Changes Everything. The silence and social stigma surrounding menstruation will only be broken when women and girls, along with their families, communities, and support systems are equipped and educated with factual information and encouraged to engage in healthy dialogue concerning MHM.
The key points of emphasis for this year’s campaign are the following:
Ask #1: Provide education on menstrual hygiene, so that women and girls feel confident and are empowered to make informed decisions about how they manage their menstruation.
Ask #2: Integrate menstrual hygiene education into national school curricula, policies, and programs for adolescents.
Ask #3: Promote education for boys, men, teachers, health workers and other professionals, so they can help break negative social norms and provide accurate information and support.
Ask #4: Enable girls to stay in school by ensuring access to hygienic products, adequate toilets, water, and disposal options.
Check out this blog: Menstrual Hygiene Rights are Human Rights.
How is World Vision Engaging in MHM?
World Vision India has engaged intentionally in menstrual health and hygiene education, targeting adolescent girls, teachers, health workers, parents and community groups across several states in India. This includes tools and curricula such as the Reproductive Health Toolkit for girls and boys, and a Making Schools Gender-Friendly Guidebook.
WV Zambia is acting on 2014 research:Investigating the Perceptions and Barriers to Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) in Zambia, which concluded that male teachers and school boys needed to be more informed regarding MHM, and that girls needed to be provided with a safe, comfortable space to learn about their own bodies. The research also recommended that school curricula needed to include more information surrounding MHM.
In 2015, WV Kenya launched the Standing with the Girls campaign focused on raising funds and promoting awareness to support girls during their menstrual period.
All of World Vision’s school WASH programmes now require that school sanitation facilities are MHM friendly, which include sex-separated toilets, bathing facilities, and access to water and soap for personal cleaning for girl students and female teachers.