SuSanA News - MH Day Edition   May 28, 2020
Menstrual Hygiene Management
Relevant, intersectoral and on the rise
Dear SuSanA Members and Partners,

Happy Menstrual Hygiene Day! Menstrual Hygiene (MH) Day takes place every year on May 28 – a date which was not picked randomly. The number 28 stands for the average number of days in a menstruation cycle and the number five for the average number of days of the actual menstruation.

This year MH Day attempts to raise additional awareness and increase visibility for the cause of adequate menstrual health and hygiene for all women and girls by posting selfies on social media showing us wearing a menstruation bracelet. Similar to the red ribbon in the fight against HIV/AIDS, the bracelet is supposed to turn into a global symbol for menstruation. By wearing the menstruation bracelet, you show your support for this important cause. So, put on your bracelet, virtually or in real life, snap a selfie and post it to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. We can’t wait to see you!

Many SuSanA partners are working around the globe towards ending the stigmatisation of menstrual hygiene. We are very happy to present you a few news and snapshots of their activities.
We have also noticed that some of our politicians have started to take action on the topic of Menstrual Hygiene. In the Philippines, the Ministry of Education hosted a webinar on Menstrual Hygiene with more than 2,500 participants. In Germany, more than 30 Members of Parliament will post their selfie wearing a Menstruation Bracelet today. We hope more will follow!

Enjoy exploring this special edition of our SuSanA news and join the Social Media Campaign around the MH Day 2020!

Your SuSanA Secretariat
Compilation of MHM Resources
Virtual launch of new SuSanA publication
The newest SuSanA compilation of MHM resources "Menstrual Hygiene Management – relevant, intersectoral and on the rise" has been virtually launched by Dr. Julia Lehmann (Head of Division for Human Rights, Gender and Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities, German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development BMZ) who emphasised that improvements in menstrual hygiene management worldwide are a key to end the stigmatisation of menstruation as a cornerstone of gender equality.

"Menstrual Hygiene Management – relevant, intersectoral and on the rise" attempts to provide an overview of and categorise the key resources on MHM to date. By bringing together the growing body of resources, including research, case studies and information material for girls and boys, this publication intends to provide interested individuals and organisations with an overview of the most relevant publications on MHM.

In the foreword Dr. Maria Flachsbarth, the Parliamentary State Secretary to the German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, acknowledges that “by publishing this third, revised and expanded edition just in time for Menstrual Hygiene Day on 28 May the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA) is making an important contribution to improved MHM.”
Periods don’t stop for pandemics!
This year the MH day is shadowed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Live events around the globe which have normally constituted the MH Day have to go virtual. New in this year is therefore the Studio MH Day – the first official MH Day live broadcast, hosted by the MH Day Secretariat (SuSanA Partner WASH United). The MH Day Secretariat is having super interesting conversations with national coalitions, decision-makers, activists, researchers and funders as well as highlights from the global online campaign all day long.
» Link to Studio MH Day
» More information about the MH Day
A global symbol
The menstruation bracelet
The rainbow flag for LGBTQ+ rights. The Red Ribbon for the fight against HIV/AIDS. Mandela’s raised fist for the fight against apartheid. Visual symbols have the power to rally people and to catalyse social change. This year, the SuSanA partner and initiator of the MH Day, WASH United wants to establish the Menstruation Bracelet as a simple yet powerful global symbol for menstruation and MH Day.
The impacts of Covid 19 on MHM
New UNICEF brief
“Periods don’t stop for Pandemics” – that is why SuSanA Partner UNICEF and others have compiled a range of resources to highlight the impacts of COVID 19 on MHM and to identify strategies to mitigate them. UNICEF highlights that the COVID-19 pandemic will have secondary impacts on girls’ and women’s ability to manage their menstruation and their health. Even in the best of times, gender inequality, discriminatory social norms, cultural taboos, poverty and lack of basic services often cause menstrual health and hygiene needs to go unmet. In emergencies, these deprivations can be exacerbated. This can lead to far-reaching negative impacts such as restricting mobility, freedom and choices, reducing participation in school, work and community life, compromising safety and causing stress and anxiety.
Putting Girls at the Center
8th Virtual Conference on MHM in schools
The 8th Virtual Conference on MHM in Schools was held on 21 May 2020. The conference enabled the global sharing of new ideas and lessons learned, and connected people working on MHM in schools in a wide range of countries. This year’s theme was "Innovation in MHM: Putting Girls at the Center" and aimed to highlight national examples of programmes that found new ways to identify and address barriers to safe and dignified MHM for girls in schools. Apart from innovations in products, services and facilities, this also includes novel, inclusive ways to end menstrual stigma and empower girls with knowledge and skills to manage their menstruation.
The Role of WASH in Tackling Menstrual Poverty
Experiences from a Yazidi IDP Camp
Menstrual poverty, also called period poverty, is understood as the range of interconnected deprivation menstruators face. But which factors play a role and what can the WASH sector do to tackle menstrual poverty? Examples from a Yazidi IDP camp in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq illustrate why the time for action is now.
MHM Partners’ Alliance Nepal
We welcome our new SuSanA partner
The Menstrual Health and Hygiene Management Partners’ Alliance (MHM PA Nepal) is an inter-sectoral, inter-professional and multi-stakeholder platform for coordination and exchange of ideas for more than 70 member organisations. The activities of MHM PA Nepal are aimed around Dignified Menstruation initiatives in Nepal and beyond.
AFRIpads celebrates 10th anniversary
Congratulations from SuSanA
On May 18th, AFRIpads celebrated its 10th anniversary. We congratulate and wish our SuSanA partner all the best for the future. We appreciate the work AFRIpads is doing on menstrual health and hygiene in Uganda and worldwide.
Equity and inclusion
New forum category on SuSanA
Since February 2020 the SuSanA forum contains the new category "equity and inclusion". This was initiated by WSSCC to give a stronger voice to topics around Leave No One Behind (LNOB), equality and non-discrimination. "Equity and inclusion" is also the right spot on SuSanA to discuss menstrual health and hygiene. Join the discussions now!
Newest MHM publications in the SuSanA library
SuSanA partners active in MHM
On MH Day 2020, our network celebrates 350 partner organisations. We are happy to see a growing number of our partners engaging in providing menstrual health products for all.
Discussions on MHM in the SuSanA Forum
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