On 9th March 2020, the 64th session of the Commission on the Status of Women convened an abridged procedural meeting and adopted the [draft Political Declaration]. On the occasion of the Commission of the Status of Women and the 25-year review of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the Global Menstrual Health & Hygiene Collective has issued the following statement to call for greater attention and improved investment for menstrual health to achieve gender equality. The statement has been endorsed by 34 organisations across the world.DOWNLOAD STATEMENT
We call on states and all who support the Beijing Declaration through the Commission on the Status of Women
to join us in our collective efforts to resource and deliver comprehensive and inclusive menstrual health. All people who menstruate should receive information about the menstrual cycle, its link to reproductive health and rights, and how to take care of their bodies; be able to make informed choices about menstrual products and practices and be socially supported to participate freely in daily activities free from menstrual-related discrimination; have access to health services for menstrual disorders; and have a safe physical environment with water and sanitation services that support menstrual health and waste management. These require action by states and partners in three key areas.
1. To significantly increase financial investment and resources to scale up menstrual health. States and their partners should adopt multi-sectoral approaches which ensure menstrual health is addressed in public health, education, sexual and reproductive health and rights, gender, WASH, and workplace-related policies.
2. To make a stronger, actionable commitment towards tackling discriminatory gender norms, attitudes, practices and stigma around menstruation, at all levels from household and community to institutions, using a human rights-based approach that ensures needs voiced by all people who menstruate, are heard and drive solutions. Investment must target those who are most marginalised, including people with disabilities, people in humanitarian settings and those with non-binary gender identities, who may experience multiple dimensions of exclusion and discrimination and are least likely to have their menstrual needs met.
3. To generate data on menstrual health and track progress by incorporating menstrual health related indicators into national monitoring systems. More research is needed to understand which interventions are successful in breaking stigmas and restrictions and how to use the right metrics to measure their success; and to identify transformative approaches to tackle other structural barriers
The CSW process has generated so much energy and collective action for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls from civil society, UN and development agencies. We intend to build on the momentum being generated to strengthen our collective voice and advocate for the importance of menstrual health in the run up to the Generation Equality Forum.
The Global Menstrual Health and Hygiene Collective includes representatives from UN organizations, academia, government, funders, private sector, existing coalitions, advocacy groups, youth focused organizations, religious groups, independent consultants and international non-governmental organisations. The purpose of the Collective is to drive and guide investment in menstrual health and hygiene through evidence-based advocacy. For more information please contact the Coordination Team: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.