This is just a general introduction about this global issue, we hope it could raise awareness to every one of you that ever came to this page. To be able to help women out there, each of us need to educate ourselves and start from our local organizations first.
“Food or tampons? No one should have to choose.”
What is menstruation? What is menstruation cycle?
Menstruation is the process in which the uterus sheds blood and tissue through the vagina. This is a natural and healthy process for girls and women of reproductive age. In Western communities, this is often called “the period.” It typically lasts 2 to 5 days, but this varies by individual.
When a person begins to menstruate, this is called menarche. The age of menarche varies by individual.
The menstrual cycle is roughly 28 days long, but it can be shorter or longer. It begins with menstruation (considered day 1 of the cycle). Menstruation is the shedding of the lining of the uterus and the remnants of the unfertilized egg. It continues with an increase in the hormone estrogen, and the lining of the uterus becomes thick and spongy again (typically days 6-8). An egg is released from one of the ovaries, called “ovulation” (around day 14, but this can vary), then the egg moves through the fallopian tube towards the uterus (typically day 15-24). If the egg is not fertilized, it will not be implanted in the uterine wall but instead fall apart, and hormone levels such as estrogen and progesterone, will drop. This process is followed by the start of a new cycle.
How is menstruation related to human rights?
Human rights are rights that every human being has by virtue of his or her human dignity. Menstruation is intrinsically related to human dignity – when people cannot access safe bathing facilities and safe and effective means of managing their menstrual hygiene, they are not able to manage their menstruation with dignity. Menstruation-related teasing, exclusion and shame also undermine the principle of human dignity.
Gender inequality, extreme poverty, humanitarian crises and harmful traditions can all turn menstruation into a time of deprivation and stigma, which can undermine their enjoyment of fundamental human rights. This is true for women and girls, as well as for transgender men and nonbinary persons who menstruate.
Over the lifetime of a person who menstruates, they could easily spend three to eight years menstruating, during which they might face menstruation-related exclusion, neglect or discrimination.
How many women are suffering?
The World Bank estimates that 500 million women and girls globally lack access to adequate facilities for menstrual hygiene management. They also lack access to menstrual products. For example, over 80% of menstruating women and girls in Bangladesh use inadequate materials (e.g. old cloth) instead of hygienic products such as pads or tampons. These unmet needs have important educational consequences for the lives of women and girls. In schools where girls lack access to hygienic facilities, menstruation can contribute to absenteeism or leaving school completely.
What is menstrual equity?
“Menstrual equity”, also called “period equity” refers to equal access to hygiene products, but also to education about reproductive health. And it’s the focus of a variety of new laws and policies to provide menstrual products in prisons, shelters, schools and even on Capitol Hill.
Advocates are also urging states to exempt menstrual hygiene products from sales tax, arguing that they’re a necessity.
Menstrual Hygiene Day - May 28
"Menstrual Hygiene Day (MH Day) is a global advocacy platform that brings together the voices and actions of non-profits, government agencies, individuals, the private sector and the media to promote good menstrual hygiene management (MHM) for all women and girls."
Pantone's Newest Color Is A Nod to Menstruation: Period Red
The color registery, with the Swedish brand Intimina, takes aim at an old taboo and barrier to women's equality.
By focusing on menstruation, Pantone said, it wants to overturn a taboo and draw attention to a regular life phase with a color that is “energizing” and “dynamic.”
Listen To Their Stories
This is Period Poverty
This is Period Poverty is a campaign created and produced by Winslow Magazine to raise awareness about period poverty in Toronto. This campaign shares the stories of individuals who have experienced homelessness and the challenges they have faced while managing their periods without access to appropriate menstrual products. These stories highlight the social, political and economic factors that create obstacles for menstruators in-need across Canada, and throughout the world.
This is Period Poverty is intended to start a conversation about menstrual equity and generate donation dollars for The Period Purse. The Period Purse is a non-profit organization that works to achieve menstrual equity through outreach, education and advocacy. To date, The Period Purse has provided supplies to support over 21,989 healthy periods.
"Surviving Period Poverty with 'Socks and Tissue' - BBC News"
"Thousands of women in the UK cannot afford to buy sanitary products.Research by the charity Plan International suggests that one in 10 girls and women - aged between 14 and 21 - in the UK has been affected at some point.
A Scottish government pilot project is providing towels and tampons to those who need them through an Aberdeen food bank. Two women tell the BBC's Scotland Editor Sarah Smith about their experiences."
"Period Poverty: A Journey Through the Pain, Struggle and Taboo"
"Unable to afford proper menstrual products, Chloe is constantly faced with anxiety and humiliation; this is not the first time this has happened and it won’t be the last. 'Absent' is based on multiple true stories and made in association with Freedom4girls. It aims to raise awareness around period poverty in the UK."
"The Cost of Menstrual Shame | Kayla-Leah Rich | TEDxBoise"
Somewhere between a young girl convinced she is dying because she is bleeding, and an artist who paints with only her period blood, is the happy medium where we can discuss menstruation as naturally as the process itself. What is the cost of the privacy and silence in which we enshroud menstruation? We need to remove menstruation shame, replacing it with feminine dignity. Period.
Kayla-Leah is courageously ending the silence on the topic of menstruation. After experiencing a period in a third-world country, she realized that even in developed nations, there is a cost to not having permission to talk about what happens with and to the female body during menstruation. She brings humor and reason to this important conversation.
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