Approximately 400 million females undergo the menstrual process daily globally. About three-quarters of the female population are in their reproductive age. They need to get access to sanitary requirements for their periods, a hygienic environment to safely utilize these products and having control over their periods without feeling judged. Unfortunately, many people do not have the chance to live this reality. For example, out of twenty lasses, seven of them do not have the means of affording sanitary towels during this COVID 19 pandemic.
There are stigmas concerning menstruation in the society that has caused the majority of the females to fear to tend to their regular routines, especially on their period days. These stigmas are as a result of not being educated on menstruation. People need to understand that this is a normal thing and adolescents should not feel ashamed of the changes in their bodies; instead, they need to thirst for more knowledge and develop hygienic skills during this puberty period. The few that get to carry on with their daily activities are incapacitated from obtaining the sanitary products, clean drinking water or lack adequate education on how they can maintain proper menstrual hygiene by using soap and water. This con will end up lowering their self-esteem and later hinder them from achieving their life goals.
Due to the inadequate knowledge on menstrual education in the society, a German non-profit education team by the name WASH United was kind enough to launch the Menstrual Hygiene Day- an exceptional day whose purpose is to educate people about menses. Here is all you need to be informed about maintaining proper hygiene during your periods, right from the moment they begin to what is expected of you at that time.
What does menstrual hygiene day entail?
(MH Day) Menstrual hygiene day is a national platform that tends to globally unite the voices of individuals, non-profits, media, as well as private agencies to promote excellent hygiene management on menstruation for everyone.
Facts to consider during menses.
Ensure your undergarments are clean and dry before wearing them.
Make sure you change the sanitary towel after every 4 hours to avoid contracting bacteria related disorders.
Dispose of the used sanitary towels properly.
Always keep your body clean. (during and after your menses) to avoid body odours.
Always use unscented soaps when cleaning private parts. (scented soaps tend to alter with the pH)
When is it celebrated?
MH day is conducted on the 28th of May every year. The sponsors settled for this date since an average menstrual cycle takes averagely 28 days. Also, females averagely have a five-day monthly flow. Therefore, May was the right month as it is the fifth in the calendar. How thoughtful of these Menstrual health day organizers as they considered the vital details.
What is the 2020 theme?
The theme this year is #PeriodsInPandemics.
Mental health day acknowledges with great concern that periods will never halt as a result of a crisis at hand. In this case, the corona virus pandemic. The theme tends to take note of how this crisis is continuing to affect the challenges female teenagers and adults must be facing during their menses.
It is quite disheartening for the females as the community centers, schools during health classes, and other places they used to get information about menstruation cycles are lock-down in the majority of the countries. Over 2 billion people have been approximated to lack the necessary sanitation facilities in the undeveloped countries. The women in such states are encountering challenges affording the products such as tampons and sanitary towels for their menstrual cycles. Menstrual health day also observes that health services have been limited; hence women can no longer frequent health institutions and inquire on their menstrual issues. These health services are limited to only those who urgently seek medical attention for fear of the spread of the COVID 19. That is just a precaution the countries are implementing.
MH day organizers continue to add that this lockdown as a result of the pandemic has intensified the stigmatization and taboos in the household. The discomfort has increased every time they receive their periods as everyone in the home is present. Besides, the charity distribution of menstrual products in learning institutions are suspended until schools reopen, and things go back to normal.
What role can you play on the Menstrual health day?
Lots of activities and events have been scheduled by the Menstrual health day organizers and all its sponsors to make the day a success. The events range from creating awareness on education about menstruation in learning as well as health institutions, posters on community noticeboards, mobile rallies by health specialists on crowded concerts. However, these planned awareness activities have proven to be difficult due to coronavirus pandemic. Therefore, all the events will operate virtually. As an individual, you can help create awareness through social media. I promise this will not take much of your time.
Try and come up with thoughtful hashtags such as menstrationhygieneday ,#menstruatioawareness, #SayNotoStigmaduringMenstruation. Also, you can share your menstrual hygiene routine and promote some positive habits on the same. This way, we can speak for the voiceless on challenges they are facing during this pandemic while in their periods.
The (WAGGGS) world association of girl guides and girl scouts is yet another association that is creating self menstrual awareness. Females are encouraged to make themselves beautiful bracelets that comprises of an outstanding red bead to represent their menstruation process and share their pictures on social media with friends. This sharing has shown to improve their confidence in their menstrual health and are now ready to talk about it openly with their friends.
All women deserve some appreciation during the Menstrual health day. Looking down on them during this time will only lower their self-esteem. It is essential that they get educated about healthy menstrual habits they can follow and also encourage them to talk about it freely.