Celebrating Menstrual Hygiene Day
Menstrual Hygiene Day is the annual awareness day celebrated across the world on May 28th to focus on the significance of good menstrual hygiene management. This year is the 5th year of the celebration and for the first time, CHRD-Centre for Hygiene Research and Development, a NGO in Kerala, will be celebrating it. Recently, Kerala became the first state in the country to make the installation of sanitary napkin vending machines compulsory in all higher secondary schools, demystifying menstruation. Therefore, Kerala is the ideal place to host this program.
Need for the Celebration:
Most women will menstruate every month between menarche and menopause. Yet, this normal biological function of the female body is still met with taboos and stigma even in this modern era. Women face a lot of discriminatory cultural norms and practices that make it difficult to maintain good menstrual hygiene. Women undergo many challenges in managing their menstruation, which should no longer be seen as taboo but as a straightforward issue of health and hygiene. There should be a clear knowledge of availability of pads and other supplies. Offices and families should be familiar with menstrual cramps and overflows. There should be availability of clean water and knowledge of vaginal hygiene. These challenges are in fact like denying women basic human rights. There is a need to address these issues and there should be a beginning.
To raise awareness of the challenges women and girls face worldwide during menstrual periods and provide solutions. To break all the myths associated with menstruation and remove the taboo existing with women and periods. Awareness can also lead to breaking old taboos, with young people taking the lead in this regard.
Interesting Fact about the day:
The reason that May 28th was chosen is that May is the 5th month of the year – most women on average have their period for 5 days, and their cycle tends to be 28 days. So, in a way, 28th of May is especially symbolic with the numbers.
Introduction by Jinoj K, the Founder and President of CHRD
Initiating period talks with adolescents by Mahek Merchant, a 10-year-old
Panel discussion by an eminent panel highlighting the need for menstrual hygiene
Unpack the safety considerations of menstrual hygiene products – talk and workshop
Breaking barriers by Saree-in-Style members, showcasing taboos and myths in society
Men in support of menstruation – talk by a man on how he supports the women around him
Target audience: 350 plus
The program will cover women of all age groups and social stratas of society.
We wish to have as many men as women because there is no awareness without men. Now is the right time to teach our boys about menstruation.
Some eminent members of the society will also be part of the program.
Number of hours:
The awareness program is designed for two and half hours and all the participants will be given a takeaway at the end of the campaign.
Centre for Hygiene Research and Development is an NGO founded by Jinoj Kandamkovil in the year 2015. Jinoj has been imparting menstrual awareness from the year 2010. While a lot of NGOs create awareness about menstruation, CHRD focuses on menstrual hygiene. Thus, most of the awareness campaign is in the urban areas where women use sanitary napkins. Yet CHRD is not only restricted to the hygiene of sanitary napkins; they also provide awareness about cloths as well as menstrual cups. Dignity in menstrual health and hygiene is the focus of CHRD.
Saree in Style, founded by Jaseena Backer in the year 2016, is a Facebook group of 9000 women across the globe who wear and appreciate the culture of sarees. Women for women’s happiness in six yards is what the group unites for. Ladies of the group are also advocates of Indian handlooms, thus the ladies will walk the stage breaking barriers and the hush around menstruation.
Sacred Hearts College, Cochin, the most prestigious college in Cochin, will partner in the celebration and help in creating awareness among women to manage their menstruation hygienically, with normalcy and dignity. The program will be held in the premises of the college.
The drive to eliminate taboos connected with menstruation has gathered momentum over the years. Menstrual hygiene is not a luxury for women, but a necessity. The motto of CHRD is to enable women and girls to enjoy certain human rights and for men to say the word period without sniggers; to support the womanhood helping them.