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To commemorate the global celebration of Menstrual Hygiene Day 2018, WSSCC members across the world organized hundreds of activities to raise awareness and promote issues of menstrual health among girls and women.
The activities included workshops in schools and in women’s centres. In Pakistan, Ikhtiar Khaskhelly held training workshop sessions for students at the Shafaq Women Training Centre, Angels Public School Pir jo Goth and the Government Girls Middle School. These workshops, designed by his organization, the Kaipur Development Organization (KRDO Pakistan), were the first of their kind to take place within a school setting. Praveen Prakash celebrated the event by inviting a public health professional to speak at a medical school that is headed by his organization, Village Development Society (VDS). The speaker argued that incorporating the topic of menstrual hygiene into the school curriculum will result in an increased awareness among school and college students.
In Nigeria, a number of menstrual hygiene workshops were also organized. Ukaoma Uche of Solace for She and Child Care Initiative and Doom Ikyaator of the Global Initiative for Girls’ Rights, Education and Empowerment (GIGREE Nigeria) focused on educating girls between 8 and 18 years in Kano, Enugu and eight other Nigerian states on properly managing their menstruation. The girls learned the importance of breaking the silence on menstruation in order to reach their full potential, especially in education. Similarly, another member in Togo, Kwassi Dominique Edoh of EDEN Togo, organized a workshop attended by over 60 girls in Koblatame town around the theme: “Sexual health for young women.”
Apart from workshops, WSSCC members organized outreach events to celebrate Menstrual Hygiene Day. Mahesh Khandelwal facilitated three outreach programmes in conjunction with the Red Cross of Kutir Udyog. They also distributed 25,000 packages of sanitary napkins to female residents. Waseem Iqbal, together with the organization AAS India, organized an event in the centre of Rajbada city. The main objective of the event was to sensitize everyone, especially men, on the menstruation cycle.
A highlight of the outreach event included traditional games with a menstruation spin on them. They included games like snakes and ladders, a power walk where men competed against each other while wearing “sanitary pads” and a puppet show. In Rajasthan and New Delhi, Loyola Ignatius of the Live Sanitized Foundation, organized a march of more than 100 Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) warriors to amplify awareness on menstrual hygiene. Following the march, the Live Sanitized Foundation held a Menstrual Hygiene Management seminar that was moderated by a panel of experts and an MHM-awareness camp at a local community health centre.
In addition to workshops and outreach events, members also participated in the global online campaign for this year’s Menstrual Hygiene Day. Prakash Amataya’s organization, GUTHI Nepal, was no exception. GUTHI Nepal amplified the voices of women and children by sharing their stories about menstruation on Facebook using the hashtag #NoMoreLimits, #PeriodTalk and #MyPeriodStoryNepal. In this way, these stories were viewed and shared by audiences around the world.