World Vision International

Menstrual Hygiene

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 2018

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 Empowering Women and Girls through Good Menstrual Hygiene, and the slogan is #nomorelimits. 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.

This year, World Vision is joining with WASH United, Simavi and GIZ are launching a webinar series on menstrual hygiene, as an activity under the MH Alliance. The webinars will take place weekly, every Thursday, starting 31 May, and will culimate in a live event at the upcoming High-level Political Forum in July. The topic of each webinar will be introduced by an expert, such as Marni Sommer (Columbia University) and Chris Bobel (Society for Menstruation Research) and followed by presentations from organisations working in Asia and Africa.

Below is a breakdown of topics and dates. The webinars are free-of-charge and open to all interestedprofessionals and individuals from all sectors. These webinars will be posted online for future access. 

REGISTER TODAY to receive details to join the webinars.

To share with others, download the PDF icon MH webinar series flyer.

WEBINAR 1: Menstrual Hygiene: The Issue, evidence and gaps. Thursday, 31 May, 1200h UTC (0800H New york)

Thematic presenters/moderators: Marni Sommer, Columbia University

Discuss the current state of MHM on the global stage – the issue, current evidence and existing gaps. We will discuss evidence-informed programming for MH, and what is important to take into account. We will share examples of evidence-based programmes and rigorous evaluation of MH programmes.

WEBINAR 2: Solutions to improve knowledge, attitudes and practices. Thursday, 7 June, 1300h GMT.

Thematic presenter/moderator: Chris Bobel, The Society for Menstrual Cycle Research

Starting from a global discourse on menstruation, we will discuss taboos surrounding menstruation in different parts of the world. Following this, we will explore solutions to address limiting norms and values and barriers to knowledge and education. We will share different methodological approaches tailored for different target audiences (school-going girls, out of school; women, people with disabilities, at workplace; etc.) and discuss strategies for scaling vs. localized interventions.

WEBINAR 3: Creating access to menstrual products. Thursday, 14 June, 1400h GMT.

Starting from the different needs and expectations of women and girls regarding menstrual products in different countries, we will explore gaps in access to these products. We will explore examples of sustainable market-based distribution systems and (sustainable) locally produced products.

WEBINAR 4: Infrastructure solutions for MH. Thursday, 21 June, 1300h GMT

Starting from the specific needs of women and girls regarding WASH facilities, especially during their menstruation, we will share good practices in terms of WASH infrastructural design and disposal at institutional level, with a focus on female-friendly design. We will also explore how the SDG WASH in Schools monitoring framework addresses MHM infrastructure indirectly in the core indicators and directly in the expanded indicators.

WEBINAR 5: Advocating for MH (live at the High Level Political Forum, livestream TBC). 11 or 12 July (TBD)

The final webinar will discuss relevance and opportunities to advocate for MH. We will explore how to link international advocacy across sectors as well as how to link national advocacy to advocacy on a global level. We will share some good practices on advocacy on national level and identify opportunities to work together.

REGISTER TODAY 

The overall objective of this series is to document and promote learning and connection between menstrual hygiene practitioners and interested professionals from different sectors, with a specific aim to refine and advance the global MH agenda.

Engage in the conversation that is happening worldwide and be sure to spread awareness about  #MenstrualHygieneDay because #menstruationmatters ​#nomorelimits

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.

Read Taking a Stand for Girls in India and Kenya.