Sanitation Facility Construction, Provision Of Menstrual Products Encourage Dialogue About Menstruation Stigma

New York Times: Letter to the Editor: Combating Menstrual Stigma
Caitlin Gruer, program manager for water, sanitation, and health practice at Plan International USA

“[In ‘When Pads Can’t Fix Prejudice,’] Chris Bobel suggests that menstrual activism focuses disproportionately on providing hygiene products, instead of combating menstrual stigma. While I agree with 99 percent of her argument, she underestimates the role products can play in reducing stigmas. … I have seen firsthand how the provision of products, or the construction of sanitation facilities, opens the door to dialogue in places where it was firmly shut. Menstrual stigma is often so strong that local authorities balk when related programming is proposed. But they like infrastructure and technological fixes. So by offering new toilets and access to products, we gain permission to talk to girls, boys, parents, teachers, and the community about menstruation, stigma, and taboos…” (4/6).