Fight menstrual stigma: initiate World Menstrual Health Day in 2020.

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Health NotHygiene
Health NotHygiene signed this petition

Let’s help fight menstrual stigma and celebrate being physically and mentally healthy during our menstrual cycles by broadening the narrative around menstruation. In 2020, we want to see World Menstrual Hygiene Day become World Menstrual Health Day.

Every year, on the 28th of May, the world acknowledges the lack of access many girls and women have to menstrual products with World Menstrual Hygiene Day. The day was initiated by a German-based non-governmental organisation (NGO), WASH United, back in 2014. It has been successful and widely adopted, with many NGOs recognising the day worldwide. Since its inception, the focus on the day has widened from access to menstrual products to become the primary day for tackling menstrual stigma and taboo. However, the language around the day has not got up to speed.

Access to products that help girls and women manage their menstruation is a huge issue, caused by poverty and inequality, but what’s at play here isn’t just a resource issue: it's the beliefs and attitudes that surround menstruation.

Girls and women often feel dirty, embarrassed and ashamed when menstruating. Actionaid and YouGov found that 1 in 3 women in the UK face menstrual stigma. We feel that using hygiene terminology only perpetuates this stigma further and fails to address wider challenges that girls and women face during menstruation. 

Health refers to your mental and physical condition whereas hygiene refers to maintaining cleanliness and preventing disease. A more holistic narrative around menstruation is needed. We must broaden the narrative and all work together to challenge menstrual stigma. 

This petition is calling for:
All girls and women's rights organisations to move the focus from hygiene to health, starting with changing World Menstrual Hygiene Day to World Menstrual Health Day in 2020.

Sign our petition to make 2020 the first year of World Menstrual Health Day on the 28th of May.