WASH United / MH Day co-hosted together with the Global Menstrual Collective an official countdown event to the Generation Equality Forum on June 29, 2021. The session highlighted why menstrual health and hygiene is critical to gender equality and how investment in menstrual health and hygiene (MHH) is essential to achieving the GEF’s Acceleration Plan for Gender Equality.
Statement by the Global Menstrual Collective
It is important to integrate menstrual health & hygiene to achieve gender equality, because progress on menstrual health & hygiene is vital to realise the four actions on bodily autonomy and sexual and reproductive health and rights defined by the Action Coalition.
PART 1: Why MHH matters to gender equality
- Opening key-note – Vivian Onano, Social entrepreneur, Founder/Director Leading Light Initiative (KEN)
PART 2: The linkages of MHH to Bodily Autonomy and SRHR Action Plan
- Menstrual health and new technical brief – Renata Tallarico, Youth Team Lead and SYP Regional Coordinator, UNFPA East and Southern Africa Regional Office (SA)
- MHH and comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) – Hilda Alberda, Director of Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning, Simavi (NL)
- MHH and contraceptive services – Tinovonga Mawoyo, Adolescent Girls Young Women, Communication specialist, PSI Zimbabwe
- MHH and tackling norms and taboos in Nepal – video, WaterAid Nepal
PART 3: Commitments and key messages
- Making the case for investment in MHH – Thorsten Kiefer, founder & director, WASH United
- GMC Statement and commitment to GEF – Thérèse Mahon, Co-coordinator of GMC / WaterAid
To concretely address the issue on bodily autonomy and sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls, we must start by ensuring that period poverty is addressed, and menstruation is no longer a shame, but a biological cycle that is fully embraced by all, and the necessary investments are put in place.
Resources mentioned during the session:
- Definition of menstrual health: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/26410397.2021.1911618
- UNFPA Technical Brief on the Integration of MH into SRHR https://acmhm.org/2021/05/27/technical-brief-the-integration-of-menstrual-health-into-sexual-and-reproductive-health-and-rights-policies-and-programmes/
- Simavi SRHR intervention in Bangladesh https://simavi.nl/media/pages/medialibrary/b1a77b3fe7-1618996933/ritu-programme-final-report.pdf
Links shared by participants:
- The Case For Her: design research project in El Salvador on CSE https://thecaseforher.com/blog/opening-a-window-to-pleasure-based-sex-education/
- Letter by girl advocates to GEF https://winifredd.files.wordpress.com/2021/06/final-girls-open-letter-.pdf
- MHM education in Bengali language https://www.youtube.com/c/MasikBhashik
- Mariana Lopez: Research on disposal in India http://hummedia.manchester.ac.uk/institutes/gdi/research/SIUYV_A5_Booklet_2021_WEB_Spreads.pdf