This year’s EuroNGOs International Conference identifies ways in which SRHR advocates can work together within the Post-2015 agenda, while also pushing for the expansion of the SRHR components that have been left aside. Simavi takes this opportunity to organise a side event on menstrual hygiene management (MHM).
Menstrual hygiene management is essential to achieving many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the new agenda.
Menstrual hygiene and the SDGs
It is a cross-cutting issue that relates to several of the SDGs, e.g. SDG 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages, SDG 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life long learning opportunities for all, SDG5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls and SDG6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. However, menstrual hygiene management is not specifically mentioned as such.
There is a general lack of knowledge about what happens when a girl starts menstruating.
There is a general lack of knowledge about what happens when a girl starts menstruating. As a result, girls are shocked when they experience their first menstruation and myths and misconceptions are perpetuated, restricting participation of women and girls in society and economic activities during menstruation. In addition, limited access to clean water, proper sanitation facilities and sanitary napkins make it difficult for women to manage their menstruation hygienically, which results in considerable social and physical challenges. The discomfort, silence and misconceptions around menstruation can lead to school drop-out, loss of career and are linked to SRHR issues such as early and forced marriages and teenage pregnancies.
Presentation and discussion
Our very own Senior Programme Officers SRHR, Hilda Alberda and Lara van Kouterik, will showcase our work on menstrual hygiene management. They will also invite SRHR advocates to a discussion on the opportunities to include this issue in advocacy and other efforts around implementation and achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.