We here at Taboo love any excuse for a day of celebration, especially a day that celebrates the end of global period poverty and ending the stigma that surrounds menstruation.
Menstrual Hygiene Day has been celebrated globally since 2014 on May 28th (because there are 28 days in a cycle which usually lasts for 5 days!). The day aims to bring awareness to the poor menstrual hygiene that can be experienced by women around the world, an issue that is obviously closely aligned with Taboo’s mission to end period poverty. Period poverty and poor menstrual hygiene can also be exacerbated by the social stigma that persists around periods, especially in Developing Countries. The flow on effect can be that women and girls miss out on vital education and employment opportunities, keeping them from reaching their full potential.
MH Day was founded by the German non for profit WASH United who believe in the need for urgent and concerted action around menstrual hygiene. After a 28 day campaign on social media and some very positive feedback from organisations around the world, they decided to hold the campaign yearly and turn it into a global day of action for activists to consolidate their voices.
I know this all sounds great, but you’re probably wondering how you can get involved and support MH Day.
Start The Conversation
Starting a conversation about period poverty or the stigmas surrounding periods sounds pretty simple, right? Maybe not depending on who the conversation is with. But often the most difficult talks are the ones most important to have. Try asking your dad, brother or boyfriend if they knew that in Sierra Leone 90% of women and girls surveyed had never heard of a sanitary pad? Or that 70% of all reproductive diseases in India are caused by poor menstrual hygiene? Give them the benefit of the doubt and perhaps they’ll surprise you with response and willingness to talk about menstruation. It may be uncomfortable at first but this is the first step in normalising periods and ending stigma. There are a wealth of MH Day resources on their website that can provide you with the facts and good talking points for an informative discussion with just about anyone.
Hold an event
Hundreds of events each year are organised on or around May 28th including educational talks in schools, community rallies, awareness raising concerts, advocacy events and product donation drives. Your event could be as simple as having a group of friends over for some cheese and wine and also asking them to donate sanitary products to a local organisation like Catherine House.
Post On Your Socials
Instagram really is the way that many of us feel most comfortable making our voices heard. So why not take your period poverty activism to your grid and get the message out there loud and proud about MH Day. There are many accounts to follow for very cool period related inspiration, including @periodfeels @periodmovement and of course @taboosanitaryproducts