Menstrual Health and Menstrual Hygiene Management – A contribution of Sanitation for Millions to improved gender equality and safer hygiene.
Every day, millions of women and girls have to manage their menstruation, an entirely natural physiological process, yet one that often remains considered too ‘private’ to discuss, let alone manage confidently. Menstrual stigma remains entrenched in societies the world over, but the lack of adequate hygiene facilities and safe menstrual products is particularly acute in many developing countries. Cultural and social attitudes towards females’ place in society – as well as, quite simply, poverty – often stand in the way of women and girls being able to manage their menstrual cycle safely and in dignity. This has profound and wide-reaching implications not only for women’s and girls’ health and well-being, but also for their participation in education, economic activities and social life.
The links between gender equality and menstrual health are slowly gaining traction, and the global Covid-19 pandemic has once again shone the spotlight on period poverty. Despite successful campaigns in recent years to address unfair pricing of menstrual hygiene products, there are many women and girls who depend on charitable donations or sanitary pads being freely available at school.
Source: Water and Sanitation Hub, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), 28 May 2021