This year's theme is 'Education on menstruation changes everything', highlighting the fact that all too often periods are a taboo subject in many cultures, shrouded in secrecy and silence. For example, in India, only 1 out of 2 girls know about menstruation before their first period, and in Tanzania and Ethiopia, only 1 out of 4 girls know about it.
This situation means that even though menstruation is a normal biological process, it's easy for taboos and misunderstanding to proliferate, causing girls even more misery. That's certainly what we found when we talked to girls in faith schools in Uganda in 2016. Read about our Uganda workshops here.
Here are some links to useful resources:
- Menstrual Hygiene Day is a global platform that brings together non-profits, government agencies, the private sector, the media and individuals to promote menstrual hygiene management (MHM).
- 'Why a monthly period is especially hard for millions of girls and women around the world' – an article on the difficulties faced by girls and women fleeing conflict and living in refugee camps and settlements.
- Menstrual hygiene day quiz: This short, fun quiz has been developed by IRC: test your knowledge!
- Menstrual Hygiene Matters, developed by WaterAid, is an essential resource for anyone working to improve menstrual hygiene for women and girls in lower and middle-income countries.
- The WinS4Girls E-Course is aimed at strengthening the capacity of WASH practitioners and policymakers in this field. It was designed by Emory University and UNICEF as part of the 14-country UNICEF project funded by the Government of Canada.