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Plan International USA proudly supports Menstrual Hygiene Day

Christine, 16, is benefiting from the Plan-supported Menstrual Hygiene Project in her community in Tororo, Uganda.
Christine, 16, is benefiting from the Plan-supported Menstrual Hygiene Project in her community in Tororo, Uganda.
May 12, 2014

Menstrual Hygiene Day creates a united voice for women and girls around the world, helping to break the silence and confront the social norms that often prohibit girls and women from reaching their full potential.

The day acts as an occasion to address the challenges and hardships many women and girls face during menstruation, but also highlights the positive and innovative solutions being put in place to address these challenges.

The day serves as a catalyst for a growing, global movement that recognizes and supports girls’ and women’s rights.

Menstrual Hygiene Day also serves as a neutral platform to bring together individuals, organizations, and the media.

Why does menstrual hygiene matter?

 

Despite menstruation being a natural process that is part of every girl and woman’s life, it is still treated as a taboo subject in countless cultures and societies across the globe. A profound silence around the topic, combined with a lack of access to information, results in girls and women possessing very little understanding of their own bodies. Many are managing their periods in an unsafe and unhygienic manner, using old rags or other unhygienic and ineffective materials. These problems are exacerbated by limited access to and affordability of hygienic products, lack of safe and private sanitation facilities, inconsistent supplies of clean water for personal hygiene, and inadequate disposal options.

As a result, menstruating girls and women often feel ashamed and embarrassed about themselves, exacerbating the silence because they would rather keep it a secret than talk about it. Facing health problems and socio-cultural norms surrounding their periods, they become isolated from family, school, and their communities. Women and girls miss school and productive work days, thus falling behind their male counterparts.

Is there really a need for a Menstrual Hygiene Day?


Yes. Menstrual Hygiene Day offers the opportunity to create awareness of the right of women and girls to hygienically manage their menstruation – in privacy, safety, and with dignity – wherever they are.

Why the 28th of May?

May is the fifth month of the year, representing 5 days, or the average number of days (between 2-7) a woman or girl menstruates each month. And, 28 represents the average number of days in a menstrual cycle.

How is Plan Promoting Menstrual Hygiene?


With a continued focus on reproductive health and hygiene, Plan International USA is proud to be a Menstrual Hygiene Day partner. Read about a few of Plan’s many programs that promote menstrual hygiene and help communities break down barriers and taboos surrounding the issue:

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