Every year, on the 28th of May, WASH United spearheads an initiative targeted at breaking the stigmas surrounding menstruation by raising awareness on the challenges that many women and girls face worldwide.
According to the official Menstrual Hygiene Day website, their vision is “to create a world in which every woman and girl can manage her menstruation in a hygienic way – wherever she is – in privacy, safety, and with dignity”.
It is also a global campaign, which means that just about anybody from any sector or walk of life can step up and engage in advocacy and knowledge-sharing around menstrual hygiene!
Here in Singapore, many of us girls are very privileged to be able to have the resources, knowledge, and understanding of our peers to be able to get through a period cycle comfortably and hygienically. However, not everyone else enjoys the same luxury, so it is only our duty to stand up for the other girls around the world who need our help!
Though Menstrual Hygiene Day has passed, the need to raise awareness on menstrual hygiene and help our fellow females still stands. That is why we’ve made a list of 5 easy ways that anybody – of any age, gender, or country – can make an impact beyond Menstrual Hygiene Day!
1. Whip Out Your Phone…
…and spread awareness of menstrual hygiene on your social media platforms!
This year’s theme for Menstrual Hygiene Day is education; so what better way to practice what you preach than to educate those around you?
With all the various social media platforms available to us these days, the possibilities of all the content that you could create are endless! Plus, the best part is that you would not even have to spend a lot of time or a single cent just to make an impact.
There are a few hashtags that you can use for your posts such as #MenstruationMatters, and #MH2017. However, if you’re not sure of what to post, WASH United has also compiled a whole range of campaign resources that you can use for free! (Just as long as you credit them.)
2. Start a movement of your own!
Before you get daunted, it’s really not that hard. Be it in your school, the workplace, or even your neighbourhood, starting a movement in relation to Menstrual Hygiene Day can be as simple as sticking up educational fliers about menstruation, or hosting a small donation drive to encourage people to donate new sanitary pads/ tampons to the less fortunate.
You can even post your event up here so that more like-minded people will be able to join in!
3. Get Involved
If starting something of your own isn’t your thing, why not get involved in something instead? It doesn’t even have to be a Menstrual Hygiene Day event! There are many organisations around targeted at empowering and helping ladies in all sorts of aspects, and more often than not, they’re lacking loads of manpower and resources.
Here are a list of some in Singapore that you can reach out to:
- Singapore Council of Women’s Associations
- Singapore Women’s Association
- UN Women Committee
- Women on a Mission
Be it through your time, services, or even dollar, every little bit of help can definitely go a long way.
4. Go Green!
Ladies, have you ever wondered how much money you spend when you are on your period and how much you are hurting the environment? If not, maybe it’s time to be more aware!
It’s been widely known that throughout the world, many nations still impose a tax on menstrual products such as sanitary pads. So, if saving money is on your agenda, why not try opting for something more sustainable like menstrual cups or cloth pads? Menstrual cups cost about $50 and when properly taken care of, can last up to 10 years! That’s about $5 a year spent on your menstrual product as compared to an average of $5 a month (if you buy sanitary pads)!
As for saving the environment, not only do you help cut down the pollution caused by factories to produce disposable sanitary products, but you’ll also reduce the amount of waste that goes into landfills! So, why not think about this for a change the next time your period is coming?
5. Don’t be afraid to speak up!
This sounds very similar to the first point of spreading awareness on social media platforms, but this one is much more than that. It’s probably also the most important way that you can make a difference. Not just on Menstrual Hygiene Day, but on any other day as well.
The main reason why we have Menstrual Hygiene Day is that there are still so many stigmas and false beliefs surrounding menstruation that we have to combat. (i.e. That menstruation is ‘shameful’, ‘unclean’, ‘dirty’, ‘disgusting’ etc.)
Therefore, the first thing that we can do is to start being confident in speaking openly about menstruation to your peers and family members during your day-to-day conversations instead of stopping yourself every time you are going to say the ‘M’ word.
The more people talk about it, the less awkward/taboo the topic would be; so stop hiding, and start sharing!
These are our 5 easy ways to go beyond Menstrual Hygiene Day. If you’ve any plans to do something for this special day, leave a comment and let us know!
Need some inspiration? Read about these 3 amazing women who have challenged the taboo of menstruation around the world.
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