All women and girls are empowered to fully and equally participate in society and live a healthy and productive life
WASH United and Simavi, in partnership with Global Citizen, launch the global Menstrual Hygiene Alliance (MH Alliance) to catalyse progress in menstrual hygiene and empower women and girls. By 2030, the MH Alliance wants menstruation to be a normal part of life that does not hold women and girls back in any way. While in some cultures the onset of menstruation is celebrated, in most countries around the world menstruation is still met with taboos and neglect.
In January this year, Charlotte Luijendijk graduated from the Willem de Kooning Academy. She started her graduation project with researching social inequalities, with a focus on menstruation. With this project, Charlotte hopes to contribute to ending the silence around menstruation, so that the discrimination associated with it stops and social equality is promoted.
Menstruation is a natural and essential part of the reproductive cycle. However, in most parts of the world it remains a taboo subject that is rarely talked about. We talked to Pim van der Male, Senior Policy Officer WASH at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, about this topic. What are his thought about menstrual hygiene management?
Ritu is a girl’s name that means ‘season’ in Bangladesh. It also refers to a girl’s monthly period and is the name of an animation figure that plays a central role in one of Simavi’s most recent programmes. Main goal is to improve the health, well-being, and social and economic participation of women and girls. Read more about this programme.
Hilda Alberda is one of Simavi’s Senior SRHR Programme Officers and an expert on Menstrual Hygiene Management. In 2016, she was invited by Léo Heller, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation, to take part in an expert consultation on ‘Gender equality in the realisation of the human rights to water and sanitation’. Together with a group of experts, Hilda discussed topics such as menstruation, specific challenges that women face in accessing WASH, and how to combat gender-based violence related to water and sanitation – in short, a lot of issues close to Simavi’s heart.
Menstruation is a natural and essential part of the reproductive cycle – on average, a woman spends seven years of her life menstruating. Therefore, MHM is an important aspect of sexual and reproductive health.