Menstrual Hygiene Day (MHD, MH Day in short) is an annual awareness day on May 28 to highlight the importance of good menstrual hygiene management (MHM). It was initiated by the German-based NGO WASH United in 2014 and aims to benefit women and girls worldwide. The 28th was selected to acknowledge that 28 days is the average length of the menstrual cycle.
Menstrual Hygiene Day creates an occasion for publicizing information in the media, including social media. Public information campaigns can help to engage decision-makers in policy dialogue. The day offers an opportunity to actively advocate for the integration of menstrual hygiene management (MHM) into global, national and local policies and programmes.
Poor menstrual hygiene caused by a lack of education on the issue, persisting taboos and stigma, limited access to hygienic menstrual products and poor sanitation infrastructure undermines the educational opportunities, health and overall social status of women and girls around the world. As a result, millions of women and girls are kept from reaching their full potential.
Menstrual Hygiene Day (MH Day) is a global advocacy platform that brings together the voices and actions of non-profits, government agencies, individuals, the private sector and the media to promote good menstrual hygiene management (MHM) for all women and girls. More specifically, MH Day:
- breaks the silence, raises awareness and changes negative social norms around MHM, and
- engages decision-makers to increase the political priority and catalyse action for MHM, at global, national and local levels.
WASH United’s role includes:
- coordination of the MH Day partner network comprising of >500 social impact organisations,
- overall strategy and direction for MH Day,
- creation and dissemination of content for the annual MH Day campaign and ongoing campaigning,
- external communication (MH Day website, social media and newsletters) and representation of MH Day (at conferences and other sector events),
- strategic partnerships (including with the media) and fundraising, and
- monitoring and reporting.
To create a world in which every woman and girl is empowered to manage her menstruation safely, hygienically, with confidence and without shame, where no woman or girl is limited by something as natural and normal as her period.
To break the silence, raise awareness and change negative social norms surrounding MHM around the world.
To engage decision-makers at global, national and local levels to increase the political priority for MHM and catalyze action.