Providing basic hygiene keeps girls in school
Wednesday May 28th was the first global Menstrual Hygiene Day acknowledged around the world. Menstrual Hygiene Day was created to publicly recognize the right of women to hygienically manage their menstruation wherever they are – at home, school or work. By acknowledging that menstruation is a normal human process and a sign of good health, Menstrual Hygiene Day confronts the stigmas attached to menstruation with collective advocacy, education and action.About 52% of the female population is of reproductive age and most of them are menstruating every month. The majority of them have no access to clean and safe sanitary products, or to a clean and private space in which to change menstrual cloths or pads and to wash. Menstruation is supposed to be invisible and silent, and sometimes, menstruating women and girls are supposed to be invisible and silent, too. Millions of girls and women are subject to restrictions in their daily lives simply because they are menstruating.
Besides the health problems due to poor hygiene during menstruation, the lack or unaffordability of facilities and appropriate sanitary products may push menstruating girls temporarily or sometimes permanently out of school, having a negative impact on their right to education. The role of good Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) as a trigger for better, stronger development of women and girls: personal, educational and professional. There is also clear evidence to show that ignoring good menstrual hygiene is damaging not just women and girls directly but also for schools, businesses and economies.
How World Vision is helping
World Vision’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene sector targets 400 program areas to have access to menstrual hygiene facilities at home, at school, and in health centers by 2020 and everyone in World Vision program areas to have access by 2030.