SuSanA News - MH Day Edition - 2021   
Celebrate MH Day with us!
Dear SuSanA Members and Partners,

We hope that you are all safe and healthy and coping well during these difficult times!

Despite the ongoing pandemic, we wish you a Happy Menstrual Hygiene Day!
Menstrual Hygiene (MH) Day takes place every year on May 28th or 28.05. – numbers which stand for the average number of days in a menstruation cycle and the average number of days of the actual menstruation respectively.
2021 is another important year for menstrual health and hygiene (MHH). The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the menstruation-related challenges women, girls and people who menstruate face around the world. Collectively, we can ensure that MHH receives the action and investment it deserves in the post-pandemic recovery.

In addition to celebrating the MH Day, we are happy to announce the 31st SuSanA meeting, taking place in August. We are excited to welcome you again online this year and look forward to making it very special! Stay tuned...

In this MH Day Special SuSanA News Edition, you will find inspiring contributions from the following SuSanA partners, who are active in the field of menstrual hygiene management:
Anahat For Change Foundation, Days For Girls, Development Organisation of the Rural Poor (DORP), Dorcas Aid International Tanzania, FINISH Society, GIZ Gender Campaign, Global Initiative for Girls Rights Education and Empowerment, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Menstrual Health and Hygiene Management Partners’ Alliance (Nepal), Project Red (TIIx), Real Relief, Regional Fit for School Program (Philippines), Sanitation for Millions Pakistan, Viva Con Agua, Vulvani, WASH United / Menstrual Hygiene Day Secretariat, WoMena and Young Water Solutions.

Enjoy exploring this special edition of our SuSanA news and join the social media campaign around the MH Day 2021 by wearing the now infamous supportive MH bracelet!

Your SuSanA Secretariat
Stay tuned for our 31st SuSanA Meeting
Including Regional Chapter Stepping Stones along the Way
With May being almost over and August approaching fast, we, the SuSanA Secretariat and the Meeting Planning Committee, are happy to announce the 31st SuSanA Meeting!
It will take place from Monday, 16th to Friday, 20th of August, right before the Stockholm Water Week. But even before, you will have the chance to attend stepping stone sessions, which will be organized by our SuSanA Regional chapters. These sessions will reflect on specific topics or challenges from the regions and gather the momentum and enthusiasm for the meeting in August.
If you are interested in hosting or presenting a session or a workshop during SuSanA31, you can find the criteria and more information in the Forum.
WASH United / Menstrual Hygiene Day Secretariat
MHDay2021 - #ItsTimeForAction
Menstrual Hygiene Day (MH Day) was first celebrated in 2014 and since then collective advocacy and campaigning around 28 May has helped to reach more than 1 billion people with positive stigma-busting messaging. Beyond that day, we have seen that awareness, advocacy and action for the issue has gained traction. Rather especially in the previous months, because periods doesn't stop for pandemics.
But progress is slow. We can't afford to wait for the pandemic to end or continue with business as usual. To make it happen, we need to step up action and invest in menstrual health and hygiene NOW!
Join the Studio MH Day on June 3rd
The MH Day Secretariat started their Studio MH Day last year – the first official MH Day live broadcast - as a reaction to all events going online and as a reflection on all ongoing activities on MH Day 2020. For MH Day 2021, WASH United has decide to move Studio MH Day to June 3rd in order to better support everyone on MH Day and share in the celebrations of all of the hard work over the past month!
Just as last year, the MH Day Secretariat will be having super interesting conversations with national coalitions, decision-makers, activists, researchers and funders as well as highlights from the global online campaign. Dont miss it!
» Find more information here
» Take a look at the Studio MH Day 2020
GIZ Gender Campaign - We can only achieve it together!
GIZ colleagues from more than 28 countries join hands for a world free of period poverty and stigma!
Just as the red ribbon stands for the fight against HIV/AIDS, the menstruation bracelet has become a symbol for the fight against period stigma. It consists of 28 beads, including five red ones, which symbolizes the median number of 28 days of the menstruation cycle and the average period length of five days.
MH Day 2021 marks a milestone for GIZ: With more than 250 colleagues from over 28 countries involved, they are sending a powerful message against menstruation stigma worldwide. Also, GIZ Gender sends a big thank you to everyone involved in advocating for a world free of period poverty and stigma! Happy MH Day 2021!
Anahat For Change Foundation
Revolutionizing Menstrual Hygiene Management in India
The Anahat For Change Foundation aims at reducing period poverty among vulnerable menstruators in India through the 'Project Unnati', supported by SVP India. They empower young girls and women to be self sustainable by training them to make re-usable cloth pads and thereby making it accessible to the entire community. This has also proved to be a successful alternative income opportunity for women in remote areas.
This year for MH Day the Anahat For Change Foundation wants to acknowledge the efforts of COVID-19 frontline health care workers who serve the community round the clock and voice their opinion of managing menstruation in high intensity COVID-19 wards.
Development Organisation of the Rural Poor (DORP)
Protecting and Empowering Adolescence Girls by Personal Hygiene Maintenance
DORP is following this year's theme on MH Day: 'More Action & Investment in Menstrual Health and Hygiene Now!':
Many women and girls in rural areas do not have money to purchase sanitary napkins for maintaining MH. They often depend on their father or elder brother. Additionally, privacy has reduced during the COVID-19 lockdown, especially in low-income communities, which live in very congested locations with small houses and shared toilet facilities.
DOPR is raising awareness and encourages communities to allocate a certain amount of budget for addressing MHM through awareness raising activities in excluded communities with MH day celebration. This will be also helpful to cover the economic burden in the communities' families to safely manage menstrual health.
FINISH Society
Small Change for Dignity
FINISH Society is a non-profit organization working to promote sustainable and equitable development of the sanitation, health, education and environment to improve lives for all.
The core idea behind their MHM interventions is to empower the adolescent girls and women to take actions for change with effective use of available resources and slowly working towards changing the ecosystem for better MHM. Like any other behaviour change programs or changing of norms, changing MHM practices for better is more like a journey than a destination. On their MHM journey, the FINISH Society has so far impacted around 30,000 adolescent girls through their interventions.
Regional Fit for Schools Program
Integration of MHM in Schools in the Phillippines
The GIZ F4S Program has been supporting the Philippines Department of Education (DepEd) in integrating MHM into their WASH in Schools (WinS) Program and Monitoring System over the past years. One of the main actors is the WinS Technical Working Group (WGT), which consists of members from DepEd, UNICEF, Save the Children, and GIZ.
After a successful webinar on MHM amid the COVID-19 Pandemic in May 2020, which included a training session for reusable pads, the TWG will conduct another webinar with a focus on action and investments on MHM in the Philippines this year. In addition to the webinar, which will be broadcasted, the DepEd will release the third version of the annual WinS Three Star Approach Monitoring Report on MHM-related data, including data of 88% of schools nationwide during the MH Day celebration this year.
Project Red (TIIx)
Dismantling several Social Oppressive Practises against Women and Girls
Project Red (P-Red) is a flagship program of 'The Intelligent Indian' (TII) and extensively works on activities related to Menstrual Hygiene Management, using education and awareness as a tool, alongside providing feminine hygiene kits to underserved women and girls in Uttar Pradesh. Last year during the pandemic, the project established Pad Banks in the state which serve close to 300 menstruators every month.
On May 28th, this years MH Day, Project Red plans to organise fundraising campaigns in multiple cities of India and distribute menstrual kits on a large-scale to marginalised communities of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
Sanitation for Millions (Pakistan)
Launch of the Secretariat of the MHM Working Group in Balochistan (Pakistan)
Sanitation for Millions, a multi-donor programme acting globally, aims at providing access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene (SDG 6.2).
In Pakistan, they have the mandate to work with government authorities to mainstream the topic of menstrual hygiene management. On MH Day, Sanitation for Millions and partners will officially launch the secretariat of the provincial MHM-working group in Balochistan, Pakistan. The secretariat’s role is to coordinate MHM-related activities amongst government departments, non-government organizations and the public. Ms. Shakeela Naveed Noor Qazi, Member of Provincial Assembly of Balochistan, will inaugurate the secretariat and act as ambassador for this sensitive topic.
Menstrual Health and Hygiene Management Partners’ Alliance
Find out how far Nepal has come in the Fight Against Menstrual Taboos and Restrictions
Keki Adhikari is a well-known actress, model and film producer in her native country Nepal. Since October 2020, she has a new role as a goodwill ambassador for menstrual health. In this film – the first of a two-part series – she wants to find out how far Nepal has come in the fight against menstrual taboos and restrictions. With more than 1.5 million followers on social media, Keki is in a powerful position to tackle the misconceptions and stigma which surround menstruation – and to advocate for dignified menstruation for all. This initiative was a joint effort from GIZ Nepal, German Embassy Kathmandu, Menstrual Health and Hygiene Management Partners’ Alliance - MHM PA Nepal, Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA) and Menstrual Hygiene Day - Global.
Global Initiative for Girls Rights Education and Empowerment (GIGREE)
Ensuring Inclusive Menstrual Health and Hygiene In Nigeria
The organization Global Initiative for Girls Rights Education and Empowerment (GIGREE) works tirelessly to empower vulnerable girls with knowledge on how to properly manage their periods in order to continue their normal lives even when they are menstruating. This year, GIGREE's focus on orphan girls and their experience has been good so far. However a major challenge is access to funding to enable them to continue to reach as many girls as possible. Therefore they support this year's call for more Action & Investment in Menstrual Health and Hygiene Now!
Dorcas Aid International Tanzania (DAIT)
Improved Menstrual Hygiene Management for Her in Tanzania
Dorcas Aid International Tanzania (DAIT) is an organisation for Relief and Development. They believe that every individual must be seen as part of the community and wider society in order to establish sustainable growth and development. This is why they fight poverty at the individual, community and societal level. They know that not everyone has had the same opportunities in life. They reach vulnerable communities through life skills development and MHM4her is one of the programmes used.
Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) is not only vital to the empowerment and well-being of girls and women but also constitutes a basic requirement for personal hygiene, reproductive health, dignity and prosperity of girls and women.
Young Water Solutions
Young Female Entrepreneur Providing Innovative Menstrual Hygiene Solutions
Eco Sanitary Uganda was born in 2019 thanks to the brilliant idea of 23-year-old Evelyne Nabakka to use fibres from the banana plant to produce Eco Uga pads: affordable, re-usable, and eco-friendly sanitary pads. The banana fibres act as the absorbent material, sewed together with cotton and macintosh paper for comfort and leakage prevention. Young Water Solutions supported the creation of Eco Sanitary Uganda through the Young Water Fellowship programme which provides training, mentoring and seed-funding to empower young entrepreneurs in the field of water, sanitation and hygiene. During the pilot phase, Eve set up the manufacturing workshop and tested prototypes of the pads with user groups before commercializing her product.
Days For Girls
Periods In and After the Pandemic: Refugee Spotlight
How have strategies for meeting the MHM needs of refugees shifted or 'built back better' in the face of COVID-19?
In lead up to Menstrual Hygiene Day 2021, Days for Girls took a look at how humanitarian aid and refugee programs around the globe are working to advance menstrual equity among their populations in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants were able to join an interactive Q&A session with field experts, and to hear stories from refugee women and girls themselves, about how stakeholders in Bangladesh, Lebanon, Uganda, and Rwanda are 'building back better' to design innovative and responsive strategies for addressing MH needs in refugee communities.
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
Experiences, Lessons Learned and Recommendations for Work on MH Around the Globe
The IFRC WASH team works globally in the WASH sector - including protection, gender and inclusion (PGI), and health (including sexual and reproductive health). In order to accelerate projects on MH, they want to share a recently published compilation of 8 case studies which highlight experiences, lessons learned and 'tips' / recommendations from Red Cross Red Crescent's work on menstrual hygiene around the globe.
The short case studies highlight experiences across a range of contexts, including MHM in schools, adaptation of MHM kits to local contexts and in emergency situations, menstrual waste management and improving MHM knowledge and addressing taboos at community level.
Real Relief
Kick Off of a Transnational Dialogue on Menstrual Health to Mark MH Day 2021
Real Relief design, manufacture and supply a large variety of effective, durable, life-saving relief items, whilst focusing on self-sustainability, empowerment and environmental friendliness. They are now collaborating with Global Goals World Cup, UNYA Denmark, and partners in 26 countries across the globe, to kick off a transnational dialogue on menstrual health to mark the International Menstrual Hygiene Day. Each day, from the 1st to the 28th of May, will be dedicated to a different country, as their biggest challenges related to Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) is communicated and brought to attention on an official Facebook campaign site. As they kick off the dialogue, they aim to improve girls and women’s rights and opportunities for quality education, gender equality, and safely managed sanitation.
Get to Know the Body in a New Way: Normalizing Taboo Topics through Entertaining Education
Vulvani is a digital education platform all around menstruation, sexuality and female health. Through interactive online courses, an online magazine as well as social media channels, people can close knowledge gaps about the female body. Their vision is that every person has the opportunity to learn about their body.
Especially in the context of menstruation it is often difficult to find good stock photos for websites, blogs or social media channels. Therefore Vulvani has also launched the world's first free stock photo gallery exclusively for menstruation – preferably with real menstrual blood and sustainable period products. You are welcome to use any of their pictures for free and only ask that you mention/ credit them.
FAQ on Male Engagement: What Works when it Comes to Involving Males in Menstrual Health?
Womena is a media company that creates inspiring female-focused content to accelerate equality and diversity. They are bringing the stories of female innovators, creatives and changemakers to a global audience. We agree when they say that supportive surroundings are vital when it comes to achieving sustainable menstrual health improvements for girls and women. An important part of this is getting boys and men involved. The research on male engagement, however, is scarce. WoMena has developed 10 practical strategies for engaging boys and men and have just dedicated a WoMena FAQ to the subject. Among other things, it includes a global review of evidence available on the topic as well as best practices and results.
Viva von Agua
VIVA! PERIOD. Celebrate the Cycle
Viva con Agua is a global initiative for clean water, sanitation and hygiene with the mission 'Water for all - all for water'. For this MH Day, Viva con Agua is celebrating life and the female cycle with the day of action VIVA! PERIOD. Using the universal languages of art, music and sports they are creating a space for positive activism and conversation about menstruation and the female cycle. They focus on a joyful and curious way of dealing with menstruation and present inspiring examples, experts and offer workshops for shared experiences of rhythm and flow. They will host a livestream during MH Day 2021 and invites you to: Come around, tune in or register for the workshops!
Newest MHM publications in the SuSanA library
Discussions on MHM in the SuSanA Forum
Upcoming sanitation events, trainings and webinars
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