Water for Women celebrates Menstrual Hygiene Day 


The 28th May marks an important day – International Menstrual Hygiene Day. Why so important? It acknowledges menstruation as a natural and healthy part of adolescent girls and women’s lives - on average a woman menstruates for about seven years during her lifetime (UNICEF). Yet in so many parts of the world, menstruation is still not treated as natural and it is either heavily stigmatized or ignored. This has enormous repercussions on women and girls, and can severely impact their health and lifetime opportunities to access recreation, education, and employment.

The WASH sector has an important role to play to alleviate the physical and social barriers that women and girls experience due to having their periods. Many of our Fund partners are working hard to ensure that menstrual hygiene management is incorporated into their WASH programming. WASH infrastructure design, behaviour change and advocacy are just some examples of how they are doing this.

Below we share some great examples of work happening across the region as Water for Women partners implement their projects to support better menstrual hygiene management, awareness, understanding and behaviours.

Youth group pose for photo for Menstrual Hygiene Day

Yayasan Plan International Indonesia (YPII) collaborated with the National WASH Network to commemorate the annual Menstrual Hygiene Day with the theme of “Youth Action for Menstruation”.  A national workshop was held which included active participation from youth members such as from the ‘Independent Youth Alliance’ and ‘Youth Coalition for Girls’.  The event was also attended and supported by the Government of Indonesia representatives from the Ministry of Education and Culture, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Religion. 

Learn more about Plan's project.


Colourful illustrations about Menstruation Euphemisms

WaterAid is encouraging people around the world, whatever their gender or age, to challenge stigma around periods by dropping euphemisms and embracing clearer language around menstruation.

"In many parts of the world, a squeamishness around talking about menstrual periods holds women and girls back from being able to ask for the facilities and support they need – including decent, private toilets with water and soap available - to deal with their menstruation with dignity and comfort."

Learn more about WaterAid's projects in Papua New Guinea and Myanmar.

Photo collage of WASH kit distribution in India

CFAR was focused on reaching out with relief and rehabilitation to the many urban poor settlements in Bhubaneswar, India that were completely devastated by Cyclone Fani. In fact, 40 community management committee (CMC) members worked round the clock to provide relief to those most affected. WASH kits including sanitary napkins were distributed to 350 households across eight settlements.

As one young women from Tarani Slum said,

"as we have lost everything, we could hardly ask our family to buy sanitary napkins, but after getting the kit we now feel stronger and don't have to hide."

Learn more about CFAR's project.

Group of women in Cambodia learning about Menstrual Hygiene Management

Since October 2018, Thrive Networks | East Meets West Foundation has partnered with the Commune Committee for Women and Children (CCWC)s to conduct Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) sessions to women and girls in Prey Veng Province, Cambodia.  This initiative is part of Thrive/EMWF's Women-led Output Based Aid (WOBA) project. As of May 2019, 1,126 women and girls in Prey Veng province have been trained on menstrual health and hygiene and were mobilised to build hygienic latrines in their communities.

Learn more about Thrive's Cambodia project.

Group of CSO staff members take part in the red dot campaign in Bhutan

SNV Bhutan joined the Ministry of Education along with relevent stakeholders for the red dot campaign, a week long campaign on safe disposal of sanitary pads. The disposal bags and the bins were distributed to the schools, households and offices in and around Thimphu and also placed at the final waste disposal site for better segregation of pads. 

Disposal is seen as an emerging problem in almost all parts of the country, the awareness campaign led by the prime minister along with the Health, Education and the foreign minister reached different parts of the country.

Learn more about SNV's Bhutan project.

Group of school students in Solomon Islands
A workshop on using reusable pads for menstruation

Plan International and Live and Learn joined together with 230 students from Visale, Vaturanga and Tanakuku schools in Solomon Islands to learn more on #MHDay. Students participated in Q&A information sessions about menstruation as part of growing up, and different options for safely managing menstruation.

As part of one session, boy students wrote messages of encouragement for the girls.

You can read more about this activity on Live & Learn's website.

Learn more about Plan's project in Solomon Islands.

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