“A resource for improving menstrual hygiene around the world
This educational and empowering resource tackles without shame or recourse to euphemism an issue that I have come to realise through my work is a major stumbling block for the realisation not only of the rights to water and sanitation of girls and women, but for ensuring gender equality.”
This resource includes several toolkits as well, including one on research, monitoring and advocacy (Toolkit 9).
“Why do I believe that this is such an important and groundbreaking publication?
Globally, approximately 52% of the female population (26% of the total population) is of reproductive age. Most
of these women and girls will menstruate each month for between two and seven days. Menstruation is an integral
and normal part of human life, indeed of human existence, and menstrual hygiene is fundamental to the dignity and
wellbeing of women and girls and an important part of the basic hygiene, sanitation and reproductive health services
to which every woman and girl has a right.
However, menstruation is too often taboo, and has many negative cultural attitudes associated with it, including the
idea that menstruating women and girls are ‘contaminated’, ‘dirty’ and ‘impure’. Menstruating women and girls are
forced into seclusion, suffer reduced mobility and dietary restrictions, and can be prevented, through cultural norms,
from participating in daily activities. Despite, or perhaps because of this, menstrual hygiene has been routinely
ignored by professionals in the water sector, and in the health and education sectors too.”