Category : Health

Menstrual Hygiene Day (MHD) is an annual awareness day observed on May 28 to promote menstrual hygiene and health for all women and girls and increase global awareness about the importance of access to menstruation products, period education, and sanitation facilities.
Every year, the 28th day of the fifth month is chosen as Menstrual Hygiene Day since the menstrual cycle is, on average, 28 days long, and women and girls menstruate for five days every month.
It was started in 2013 by the German NGO WASH United, which began a 28-day social media campaign to raise awareness about various aspects of menstruation. Motivated by the strong reaction to the campaign, Menstrual Hygiene Day was marked for the first time on May 28, 2014, with rallies, exhibitions, workshops, speeches, and other activities.
Menstruation is a natural and unavoidable aspect of women’s and girls’ lives that is essential to biological processes and indicates reproductive health. However, for many people around the world, experiencing their first menstruation can mark the beginning of a decline in their choices. Millions of women and girls around the globe face stigma, exclusion, and discrimination simply because they menstruate.
The difficulties that menstruating girls, women, and other menstruators encounter extend beyond a simple lack of supplies or infrastructure. Menstruation marks the beginning of an unfamiliar phase in adolescents’ lives, as well as new vulnerabilities. Many adolescent females experience stigma, harassment, & social exclusion during menstruation.
Gender inequality, discriminatory societal norms, cultural taboos, poverty, and a lack of basic amenities such as toilets and sanitary products can all contribute to inadequate menstrual hygiene and health requirements.
This has far-reaching implications for millions of women and girls. It hinders their mobility & personal preferences. It has an impact on both school attendance & community participation. Furthermore, it jeopardises their safety, producing additional tension and anxiety.
It also affects their physical and psychological well-being. It adversely affects their confidence and self-worth. Furthermore, the stigma associated with menstruation has a significant negative impact on mental health.
Poor hygiene practices increase the risk of Reproductive Tract Infections (RTIs). They can also hamper reproductive health and, if neglected, impair fertility. These issues are especially significant during natural catastrophes.
Menstrual hygiene can help assure physical comfort, boost confidence and self-esteem, provide safety, privacy, and dignity, promote positive outlooks, and reduce stress and worry associated with the period.
Although awareness of menstrual hygiene has increased, challenges must be overcome to ensure universal access and break down cultural barriers.
In conclusion, menstrual hygiene is important to women’s psychological, social, and physical health. Policymakers, healthcare providers, educators, community leaders, and individuals must take action to address the multidimensional concerns comprehensively. This is not only to meet the unmet demand for menstrual hygiene products but also to preserve dignity, boost confidence, and improve sexual and reproductive health, particularly among adolescents.

Menstrual Hygiene & the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Proper menstrual hygiene is integral to achieving several United Nations’ SDGs though it is not explicitly mentioned. The goals are:
SDG 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.
SDG 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
SDG 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
SDG 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water & sanitation for all.


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