Menstrual Hygiene Day (MH Day) is a global advocacy platform to break the stigma on the subject of menstruation, break negative norms and promote good menstrual hygiene management for all women and girls. Millions of women and girls are kept from reaching their full potential, limited by poor menstrual hygiene from a lack of education, persisting stigma and limited sanitation infrastructure and products.
The social stigmas and taboos surrounding menstruation prevent women and girls from attending work and school, and even when they do attend, the lack of access to menstrual hygiene products, sanitation infrastructure and menstrual hygiene education can prevent them from reaching their full potential.
The vision of MH Day
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 women or girl is limited by something natural and normal as her period.
This year, MH Day recognises that periods do not stop for pandemics in light of the coronavirus crisis, using the hashtag ‘PeriodsInPandemics. The current pandemic is exacerbating the menstruation-related challenges adults and teenagers face around the world.
A CO2balance CSR Project helping change the stigma
Kole District is in the project area of one our Safe Water Project’s in Northern Uganda. One notable Primary School in the district, has over 910 pupils, 430 of which are girls. Over 120 of which go through monthly menstrual cycles that cause high absenteeism and has even led to girls dropping out of school entirely. Many attribute their dropping out to their menstrual cycle, insufficient sanitation facilities at school and sanitary towels being unaffordable.
The situation became apparent to us through our involvement with local communities through our Safe Water Project. With support and funding from MediaCom, we implemented a CSR project to help tackle this issue.
The project was a roaring success, and involved:
- The position of Senior Female Teacher was created to provide a safe point of contact for the girls at the school. This appointed female role provides counsel and support for the girls at the school, as well as encouragement for them to continuing attending.
- In-school training for the girls on good menstrual hygiene practices and on the use on sanitary towels. These sessions orient around building their self-esteem and confidence over a natural process of their bodies. The children are encouraged to share the information with females in their family.
- The distribution of reusable sanitary towels to girls between 13 and 17, ensuring that vital products are accessible and available to all the females attending the school.
Feedback from the children and Headteacher of the school were extremely positive; the impact has been well received and beneficial in many significant ways.