Menstrual Hygiene Day
Menstrual Hygiene day is celebrated every year on the 28th of May (28/5). Want to know why this day was chosen? Well, 28 days is the average length of a person’s cycle, and 5 days is the average length of each period, hence 28/5. Pretty clever right!
So what is Menstrual Hygiene Day? The day of awareness was first started by German, non-profit advocacy and education group WASH United. WASH stands for WAter, Sanitation and Hygiene. The group is mainly based in different Sub-Saharan African countries and India, such as Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania.
Menstrual Hygiene Day messages
The aim of this day of awareness is to break down the taboo of periods and raise awareness about the importance of menstrual hygiene management for everyone with a period. This year’s theme is action and investment into period management NOW.
What is period poverty?
Period poverty is the lack of access to sanitary products, menstrual hygiene education, toilets washing facilities and or waste management. Period poverty usually happens because of financial constraints and or cultural taboo. In the UK, period poverty affects lots of people with a period with 1 in 10 girls not being able to afford period products at all and 1 in 7 struggling to afford them every month.
Why is period poverty an issue?
Not having access to proper menstrual supplies and a hygienic and safe way to deal with your period is massively detrimental to the person suffering, especially on children's education. Research has shown that 49% of UK girls have missed at least 1 day of school because of their period with nearly 60% of those making up a lie or excuse so they don’t have to go. Over the course of a single year in the UK, 137,700 children miss going to school because of period poverty.
The lack of access to period products and washing facilities is combined with the taboo and shame that still surrounds periods. In a survey of 1,000 girls, half were embarrassed by having a period and many of them felt too embarrassed to ask for help or support with their period. Nearly 70% of them said they felt less able to concentrate or perform well in class during their period.
The current Coronavirus pandemic has caused a sharp increase in the number of those experiencing period poverty. Leeds based charity, freedom4girls has said that in a normal month they deliver around 500 packs of pads, liners and tampons to those in need but since the start of lockdown that number has skyrocketed to around 1,800 packs a month.
This is why Menstrual Hygiene Day is so important and needed now more than ever.
Menstrual hygiene and period poverty is a cause close to our hearts here at Secret Whispers. We sell our own reusable menstrual cup, the CupIT Kit which is better for you, the environment and actually helps to combat period poverty right here in the UK. For every CupIT Kit sold, we donate one reusable menstrual cup to a local charity, The Zinthiya Trust. If you'd like to read more about The Zinthiya Trust and what they do, check out their website.
If you’d like to get involved with this years Menstrual Hygiene Day then why not donate some period products to a charity like The Zinthiya Trust or a local food bank. A quick internet search will show you any charities or food banks local to you that would be more than grateful for your donation of menstrual products or a couple hours of your time volunteering.
We hope you enjoyed this blog, why not check out Why we chose The Zinthiya Trust to support them with period poverty or The stress that sanitary wear is having on the environment
Fancy a freebie? Download our FREE guide to holistic period pain remedies
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