Menstrual Hygiene Day is an annual awareness day commemorated on May 28 to highlight the importance of good menstrual hygiene management at a global level. The day is meant to highlight the vital role that good menstrual hygiene management (MHM) plays in empowering women and adolescent girls worldwide to become all that they can be. This year’s theme was action and investment in menstrual hygiene and health now!
Menstrual hygiene management (MHM) is a major health issue affecting women and girls of reproductive age worldwide. Fifty two per cent of the female population is of reproductive age at any given time. The transition into reproductive age for some girls is often met with fear and anxiety due to a lack of knowledge about menstruation and a lack of resources about the changes that are occurring in their bodies. School aged girls in marginalized communities like those in Kayunga district where we work face the largest barriers to MHM as many schools do not have the necessary facilities, supplies, knowledge, and understanding to appropriately support girls during menstruation.
“I used to use cloths that I would cut from my old T-shirts to keep the blood from staining my dresses, but they were not enough and blood would still stain my clothes,” said Mbakire Eseza, a 14-year-old girl. “Boys used to laugh at me and I eventually simply stayed home whenever my periods started.”
In Uganda, school-aged girls in marginalized communities face largest barriers to menstrual hygiene management as many schools do not have the necessary facilities, supplies, knowledge and understanding to appropriately support girls during menstruation. This negatively impacts their education and ability to stay in school.