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3 Areas Related To Menstrual Needs Of Women, Girls Globally Need Attention

Project Syndicate: Demystifying Menstruation
Catherine Dolan, reader in anthropology at SOAS University of London; Julie Hennegan, postdoctoral fellow at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; and Gabby Edlin, CEO and founder of Bloody Good Period

“…Menstrual hygiene is essential to a woman’s health, education, mobility, and security, and therefore must be viewed as a basic human right. To uphold this right, three tasks demand urgent attention. For starters, we must empower women and girls to make informed choices about their bodies. … Human development strategies must … focus on reaching as many women and girls as possible, and deliver products and solutions that enable management of periods in a secure, comfortable, individualized way. Next, we must increase awareness and improve education about the menstrual process. By helping girls understand and talk openly about their cycles, it is possible to break down taboos associated with menstruation and improve hygiene practices in the process. … Finally, we need solutions that are based on facts. … The global health community must work together to address the menstrual needs of women and girls everywhere; there is no single solution to this global problem. But the silence surrounding the natural process of menstruation must be broken, so that women and girls can obtain the sanitary products they need at affordable prices” (4/17).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.