Menstrual Hygiene Education Critical To Health Of Women, Girls

Inter Press Service: Educating Girls about Menstruation and Menstrual Hygiene
Ida Horner, chair of Let Them Help Themselves

“…[A]lthough there has been a lot of good work on Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) either currently underway or already completed, we are a long way off from achieving an even playing field for girls and women worldwide. Menstruation stigma persists in some parts of the world due to cultural practices whilst in others hygiene products are so heavily taxed as to render them inaccessible for some girls. In some countries, MHM is not treated as a critical component of reproductive health training for adolescents … A combined education program on menstrual hygiene … would ensure accurate information and menstrual hygiene education for boys, men, teachers, health workers, politicians, and other professionals. In particular, teachers need to be empowered to provide accurate information and support for pupils and in turn, break down negative social norms. It would also ensure the availability of water and sanitation facilities in schools, privacy and dignity for menstruating, as well as policies that reduce the cost of menstrual absorbents. … [W]hat is needed is the mainstreaming of menstrual hygiene education into development agendas such as the Sustainable Development Goals and the Gender Mainstreaming agenda…” (5/28).