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Stigma, Discrimination, Misunderstanding Surrounding Menstruation Must End

CNN: It’s time for women and girls to speak about their periods
Amina J. Mohammed, deputy secretary general of the U.N.

“If we are to achieve true gender equality, we need to tackle everything that contributes to the discrimination and marginalization of women — including menstruation. … When menstrual hygiene is properly managed, it contributes to social and economic empowerment and growth, across the board. … For centuries, women and girls have quietly managed their menstruation as best they can, often while fulfilling demanding roles in their families and communities. It is time women and girls spoke out about their daily struggles. It is time to claim our rights and those of our daughters and granddaughters, to dignity, health, and education. It is time for the world to step up. Thankfully, we are now beginning to see change. … Educating boys while their attitudes and beliefs towards girls and women are evolving is critical. We need to spread the word: menstruation is natural and manageable — while it may also be painful, uncomfortable, or plain inconvenient. … Let’s do everything we can to invest in menstrual health and end stigma and discrimination. It is time to lift up the rights of girls and women everywhere” (10/3).

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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.