Every year, Menstrual Hygiene Day (also known as MH Day) takes place on May 28th. Being the 28th day of the 5th month, this date represents the average menstrual cycle which lasts 28 days and the average period length which lasts 5 days. Menstrual Hygiene Day is a day dedicated to shedding light and promoting menstrual health and hygiene!
“To create a world, by 2030, where no [person who menstruates] is kept from realising [their] full potential because [they] menstruate.” — menstrualhygieneday.org
The 2021 Menstrual Hygiene Day marks the 8th year since the movement first began. Menstrual Hygiene Day was initiated in 2013 by WASH United, a German non-profit organization focusing on the advocacy and education of human rights and menstrual hygiene.
Since then, WASH United has been a global coordinator for Menstrual Hygiene Day. The goal of the Menstrual Hygiene Day movement is to raise awareness, break the silence, change negative social perceptions, and fight stigmas and taboos on menstrual health and hygiene.
Poor menstrual health and hygiene can be caused by a number of factors. According to menstrualhygieneday.org, poor menstrual hygiene is “caused by a lack of education on the issue, persisting taboos and stigma, limited access to hygienic menstrual products and poor sanitation infrastructure undermines the educational opportunities, health and overall social status of women and girls around the world. As a result, millions of women and girls are kept from reaching their full potential.”
To achieve global good menstrual health and hygiene, we need to ensure that everyone has access to safe menstrual products, toilets, water, soap, and proper disposal. In addition, because poor menstrual health and hygiene is caused by a number of factors, systemic issues must also be addressed and resolved to ensure good menstrual hygiene. On a systemic level, proper health services, policies, positive social norms, informed professionals, and education are required to achieve good menstrual health and hygiene across the world.
Since 2013, the Menstrual Hygiene Day movement has made progress towards: education about menstruation for all, ending period poverty, accessible period-friendly water and sanitation infrastructure, and ending period stigmas and taboos. On Menstrual Hygiene Day, “hundreds of events and activities are organized by MH Day partners and other organisations around the world, ranging from educational sessions in schools, community rallies and concerts to raise awareness, advocacy events with governments to increase the political priority of the issue, product donations and many more.” And already we can see the positive impact of the Menstrual Hygiene Day movement! Since 2013, there has been an increase in the number of governments, organizations! UN agencies, and corporations promoting menstrual education. 36 countries have reduced taxes on menstrual products, with some of these countries even providing FREE menstrual products to the public! Water and sanitation infrastructure projects are becoming increasingly aware of menstrual needs! And period positive campaigns and advocacy groups are becoming increasingly popular and trending on social media!
By 2030, the Menstrual Hygiene Day movement aims to create a world where “everyone can access the menstrual products of their choice, period stigma is history, everyone has basic information about menstruation and how to manage it, and everyone has access to period-friendly sanitation facilities.” The Menstrual Hygiene Day movement’s vision is to create a world where no person is held back because they menstruate. With the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbating period poverty and poor menstrual health and hygiene worldwide, it is now more important than ever that we create a future where no person who menstruates is forced to resort to poor menstrual health and hygiene practices.
Ruth is a proud partner of Menstrual Hygiene Day! Other companies such as UNICEF, Procter & Gamble, Kotex, World Vision, and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have also partnered in support of Menstrual Hygiene Day. If you are interested in taking part in Menstrual Hygiene Day 2021, there are a number of ways you can participate! Use the campaign hashtags #ItsTimeForAction and #MHDAY2021, and tag @menstrualhygieneday (Facebook, Instagram) and @mhday28may (Twitter) on social media! And visit https://menstrualhygieneday.org/2021events/ to sign up for virtual events!
We want to continue normalizing period conversations and building a supportive network for people who menstruate. For more resources and information on Menstrual Hygiene Day visit https://menstrualhygieneday.org/, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, subscribe to our newsletter, or connect with us on social media! Thank you for reading! Don’t forget to wear your masks, wash your hands, and stay safe!
Sources: Menstrual Hygiene Day & WASH United