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A Global Alliance to Empower Women and Girls

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.

This Sunday, the 28th of May, is Menstrual Hygiene Day (MH Day). Worldwide, events and activities will take place to raise awareness about the multiple challenges women and girls face around their menstruation: misinformation and taboos, a lack of private toilets with water and soap, and limited access to affordable, hygienic menstrual products.  The consequences for women and girls include severe health conditions, social exclusion, and lost economic and educational opportunities as women miss work and girls skip or drop out of school.  To further accelerate progress on menstrual hygiene globally and ensure that the topic is a priority not just on MH Day, but every day, WASH United and Simavi, in partnership with Global Citizen, are launching the Menstrual Hygiene Alliance.

“We are joining forces with Simavi, Global Citizen and organizations worldwide to help turn menstruation into what it really is – a perfectly normal part of life. It’s bloody time that all women and girls are empowered to fully and equally participate in society and live a healthy and productive life” says Thorsten Kiefer, CEO of WASH United.

The Menstrual Health Alliance will be working closely with international advocacy organization Global Citizen. “At Global Citizen we are highly committed to helping empower women and girls around the world through education and improved sanitation and hygiene. We look forward to being a key campaigns partner and engaging our monthly audience of over 20 million Global Citizens to promote Menstrual Hygiene Management as an enabler for girls’ education.” said Madge Thomas, Deputy Director, Global Policy and Advocacy at Global Citizen.

The launch of the MH Alliance is the start of a multi-year effort to increase the priority for menstrual hygiene.

“We want every woman and girl to be able to manage her menstruation hygienically, with dignity and without stigma”, explains Ewout van Galen, Programme Director of Simavi. “We call upon governments, NGOs, development partners, the private sector and the general public to help achieve this goal by 2030”.

Want to learn more about the Menstrual Hygiene Alliance? Please read more on mh-alliance.org.

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3 Questions

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?