Menstrual Health and Hygiene

Hundreds of millions of menstruators lack the means to ensure menstrual dignity and health.
MMH

In many parts of the world, menstruation tends to be a taboo topic, surrounded by silence and shrouded in myths. As a result, girls have limited factual information about menstruation before its onset resulting in fear, shame and limited mobility at the onset and during menstruation. Girls often do not know how to manage their menstruation safely with dignity when it arrives and have no information about hygienic disposal options of menstrual waste.


Menstrual health and hygiene (MHH) encompasses both menstrual hygiene management (MHM) and the broader systemic factors that link menstruation with health, well-being, gender equality, education, equity, empowerment, and rights. These systematic factors have been summarized by UNESCO as accurate and timely knowledge, available, safe, and affordable materials, informed and comfortable professionals, referral and access to health services, sanitation and washing facilities, positive social norms, safe and hygienic disposal and advocacy and policy.

MHH IN WSSCC 

Since 2012, we have worked with governments and partners to address historical gender inequalities, discrimination and social injustice in WASH and beyond, using menstrual health and hygiene as an entry point. In collaboration with various ministries, partners and trainers, WSSCC has facilitated inter-ministerial, multi-stakeholder policy dialogues, has led capacity building initiatives to create a cadre of trained MHH facilitators and has supported and directly implemented programming on MHH using the holistic rights-based 3-interlinked approach, including trough integration into GSF programmes. Since embarking on this work, demand has grown steadily and WSSCC has worked with governments and other partners to respond to various demands.

 

MMH

Globally WSSCC works to:

  • Provide a platform for dialogue, sharing and learning
  • Bring evidence and commitments together
  • Support advocacy for investment in MHH 
  • Provide technical support for MHH integration in policy process 
  • Rally support from relevant donors and partners 
  • Support the development of the Global Menstrual Collective

 

UN Human Rights Council Resolution adopted, Sept 2018 adopted resolution on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation specifically including menstruation. 


The resolution expressed great concern that the lack of access to adequate water and sanitation services, including for menstrual hygiene management – in schools, workplaces, health centres, and public facilities and buildings –negatively affects gender equality and women’s and girls’ enjoyment of human rights, including the rights to education, health, safe and healthy working conditions, and to participate in public affairs. It encourages states to address the widespread stigma and shame surrounding menstruation and menstrual hygiene by ensuring women and girls have access to factual information, universal access to hygienic products and gender-sensitive facilities, including disposal options for menstrual products.