Menstrual Hygiene Day, what is it?

Anurika Onyenso

Did you know?

 

Period shame, taboos, and misinformation about menstruation are still prevalent in countries all around the globe, Canada included. 

At the age of nine, I started my first period and I can still vividly remember how faint I felt at the sight of the blood trickling down my thigh.  

Growing up in Nigeria, my mother had never really talked to me about menstruation and was just as shocked as I was that I had started so early. I received a menstrual pad from her with no further instructions and got to school minutes later with soiled clothes.

Across the globe people are stigmatized, excluded and discriminated against simply because they menstruate. Because of a natural bodily function, menstruators are viewed as incompetent. Many others come from impoverished communities and are unable to afford menstrual products.

In fact, a report, conducted by Plan International Canada, concluded that one in every three Canadian women under the age of 25 struggled to afford these basic necessities.

Initiated by German non-profit WASH United in 2013 and first celebrated in 2014, Menstrual Hygiene Day is dedicated towards deconstructing these taboos associated with menstruation and raising awareness worldwide towards the importance of good menstrual hygiene.

It is a global advocacy platform that brings together the voices and actions of non-profits, government agencies, individuals, the private sector and the media to promote good menstrual health and hygiene (MHH) for all menstruators.

We need to break down these stigmas and teach the value of good menstrual hygiene from a young age.

 

 

Why the 28th?

The 28th of May was chosen as the official date for Menstrual Hygiene Day. The date, 28, represents the average menstrual cycle which lasts 28 days, while as the fifth month, May represents the average number of days people menstruate.

 

Where does Ruth Come in?

Being sustainable makes sense! While our ecosystem has already started depleting, being sustainable will improve the quality of our hygiene while protecting our ecosystem.

Currently, our pads are 93% bio-based, but we are working towards increasing that percentage! They are made with Kenaf fiber, which is known to be good for soil health and is commonly used by farmers. We also use carbon-neutral shipping to ensure that our products are Ruthlessly Sustainable! 

Lastly, each box of Ruth pads you order supports our mission and our commitment to donate menstrual products to shelters and organizations across Canada to help reduce period poverty nationally. Already, we have donated nearly 4,000 pads and diverted approximately 41kg of plastic.

 

What’s Next?

The only way we can remove the stigma around menstruation is by being comfortable having these uncomfortable conversations. 

This is the only way we can move forward and slowly normalize the discussions around it. At the end of the day, getting your period should be celebrated, and it definitely should not be something to be ashamed of.

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 2022, there are a number of ways you can participate! Use the campaign hashtags #RuthForYou #WeAreCommitted #RuthIRL and, and tag us, @menstrualhygieneday (Facebook, Instagram) and @mhday28may (Twitter) on social media! And visit getruth.ca/pages/mhday to see what we are up to!

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 hello@getruth.ca, 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