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Menstrual Hygiene Day 2019: Why Menstrual Hygiene is important!

The MH Day seeks to break the silence, raise awareness and change the negative social norms surrounding menstrual hygiene.

May 28, 2019 14:01 IST
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Menstrual Hygiene Day 2019: Why Menstrual Hygiene is important!

Though the world is slowly moving towards removing the social stigma surrounding menstruation, the word ‘period’ still remains a taboo in most societies. In most countries, girls still avoid going to school when they are on their period. Women in rural areas or in poverty-ridden nations still use paper and other harmful materials such as dried leaves and plastic as a substitute for sanitary pads.

To do away with the same, the main theme of this year’s Menstrual Hygiene Day is ‘It’s Time for Action!’ The day aims to ensure no girl is left behind. In the year 2018, around 310 organizations educated around 27.2 million girls across 134 countries. For the year 2019, the participating organizations are committed to educating a total of 41.4 million girls across the world.

About Menstrual Hygiene Day

The Menstrual Hygiene Day (MH Day) is a global advocacy platform that brings together the voices and actions of non-profits, government agencies, individuals, private sector and the media to promote good menstrual hygiene management (MHM) for all women and girls.

Vision

To create a world in which every woman and girl is empowered to manage her menstruation safely, hygienically, with confidence and without shame, where no woman or girl is limited by something as natural and normal as her period.

Objective

The MH Day seeks to break the silence, raise awareness and change the negative social norms surrounding menstrual hygiene.

It encourages and engages decision-makers to increase emphasis on the issue and mobilize action to create more awareness at global, national and local levels.

Why do we need the day?

Poor menstrual hygiene along with limited access to hygienic menstrual products and poor sanitation infrastructure undermine the educational opportunities, health and overall social status of women and girls around the world.

As a result of this, millions of women and girls are kept from attaining their full potential.

Hence, the day aims to educate people around the world regarding the persisting taboos and stigma associated with menstruation, as the primary reason for poor menstrual hygiene is the lack of education.

Following are some of the health risks of poor menstrual hygiene:

1. Unclean sanitary pads/ Harmful sanitary pad alternatives: The use of unclean pads or harmful sanitary pad alternatives such as dried leaves or paper can cause fungal infection in the reproductive tract or urinary infection.

2. Prolonged wearing of sanitary pad: By wearing one sanitary pad beyond its stipulated time period, which is 6-8 hours, one is prone to develop rashes and vaginal yeast infections with the side effect of bad odour.

3. Disposal of sanitary napkins: The disposal of sanitary napkins is a problem that plagues society at large. Most women throw them in the garbage bin, which often then end up getting mixed with dry, wet and other hazardous waste. Exposed sanitary napkins can also cause serious health issues and skin diseases. They also end up clogging the drains, adding to the toxic waste.

Has anything changed?

While the world still continues to come to terms with period and period blood, there has been a vast improvement in awareness. More and more people are now openly wishing to talk on the matter, especially with the release of films like Padman and Period. End of Sentence.

The conversations are, however, just a small start to coming up with a populist solution to the wide-ranging issue.

About Menstrual Hygiene Day

The Menstrual Hygiene Day (MH Day) is a global advocacy platform that brings together the voices and actions of non-profits, government agencies, individuals, private sector and the media to promote good menstrual hygiene management (MHM) for all women and girls.

Vision

To create a world in which every woman and girl is empowered to manage her menstruation safely, hygienically, with confidence and without shame, where no woman or girl is limited by something as natural and normal as her period.

Objective

The MH Day seeks to break the silence, raise awareness and change the negative social norms surrounding menstrual hygiene.

It encourages and engages decision-makers to increase emphasis on the issue and mobilize action to create more awareness at global, national and local levels.

Why do we need the day?

Poor menstrual hygiene along with limited access to hygienic menstrual products and poor sanitation infrastructure undermine the educational opportunities, health and overall social status of women and girls around the world.

As a result of this, millions of women and girls are kept from attaining their full potential.

Hence, the day aims to educate people around the world regarding the persisting taboos and stigma associated with menstruation, as the primary reason for poor menstrual hygiene is the lack of education.