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Menstrual Hygiene Day 2020: End Period Poverty

Article by Maureen Kasuku
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Posted: May 28, 2020

May 28th is Menstrual Hygiene Day. This day is commemorated annually with the aim of raising awareness on menstrual hygiene and combating taboo issues on menstruation. This year’s theme is “Periods don’t stop for pandemics”. 

During these surreal times, poor girls and women have been disproportionately affected as their access to social services has been restricted. They are struggling to get water, sanitary products, and are confined in toxic environments. 

In Kenya, many girls and women have to deal with period poverty every month. ‘Period poverty‘ means being unable to access sanitary products and having poor knowledge of menstruation often due to class/financial constraints.

During that time of the month, millions of girls and women afflicted by period poverty are unable to work or attend school because of a lack of funds for sanitary products -this further exacerbates inequality in society.

We’ve heard horror stories of young girls getting ostracized for menstruating, trading sex for sanitary products, and using crude methods to stop their menses.

In June 2017, President Uhuru Kenyatta signed an amendment to the education law that states: free, sufficient, and quality sanitary towels must be provided to every school-registered girl, as well as a safe place to use and dispose of the products. Three years later, this is yet to fully materialize.

This year, do your part to help end period poverty. Participate in the conversation on social media under the hashtags #MHD2020, #endperiodpoverty & #pandemicperiod. Sign the petition here to urge governments worldwide to end period poverty.

Donate your skills and resources to these Kenyan organizations helping girls and women overcome period poverty:

 

About the author

Maureen Kasuku

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