MHM Platform celebrates Menstrual Hygiene Day 2022 to break silence
Dhaka May 29 2022 :
On the occasion of Menstrual hygiene Day 2022, MHM Platform organized an event titled ‘Making menstruation a normal fact of life by 2030: Celebrating Menstrual Hygiene Day 2022’ to highlight the importance of good menstruation hygiene management.
The event was held on May 29, 2022 at Hotel Lakeshore, Gulshan, Dhaka marking the occasion of Menstrual Hygiene Day.
The MHM platform plays a role of coordination among three sectors- WASH, SRHR and private company to create a synergy and adds value to the existing programmes related to WASH and SRHR.
Most women and girls are hesitant to talk about menstruation hygiene in public due to a persistent stigma surrounding menstruation.
According to National Hygiene Follow-up Survey, 2018, only 53 percent schoolgirls have heard of menstruation, 30 percent female students missed school during menstruation and 34 percent girls use old cloth for managing menstrual hygiene.
MHM Platform addresses these gaps in the current menstruation hygiene practices to ensure a safe, dignified and healthy environment for all women and girls. Aligning with this year’s theme of Menstrual Hygiene Day 2022, ‘Making menstruation a normal fact of life by 2030’, MHM Platform organised the event today.
This programme showcased the collaborative work of MHM Platform in recognising the importance of proper menstruation hygiene practices to ensure women’s empowerment.
The programme discussed different strategies to enhance the current menstruation scenario such as breaking the barriers through education, making quality MHM products affordable and available, upgrading WASH facilities for MHM, and disposing MHM products safely. It also spoke about other strategies and recommendations including achieving synergy, harnessing the private sector, guiding the stakeholders, and achieving coordination and collaboration.
Hasin Jahan, Chairperson, MHM Platform and Country Director, WaterAid Bangladesh, said, “The objective of MHM Platform is to bring those who work on menstruation and gender issues under a single platform and aid in implementing government policies.
Last year, the government officially announced that there would be no tax on locally produced sanitary napkins, thanks to the concerted efforts of MHM and NBR. We have created a knowledge-based app, which will contain the information on the works of the officials, who are working on various menstruation-related projects, and the information will be shared with more people.”
Numeri Zaman, Joint Secretary, Policy Support Branch, Local Government Division, said, “We have already addressed the problem related to menstruation prevailing in our society. The next step is to implement a well-planned strategy to solve these problems. We hope that with collaborative efforts, we will be able to establish menstruation as a normal topic before 2030.”
Dr. Mahbuba Nasreen, Ph.D., Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Bangladesh Open University & Professor & former Director, Institute of Disaster Management and Vulnerability Studies, University of Dhaka, stated, “For many years, women have been facing severe problems with menstrual health management during natural disasters.
Now, we are observing many positive changes in this area, and the MHM platform is playing an important role in bringing about changes. The app, unveiled today, is part of that change.”
Mushfiqua Zaman Satiar, Senior Policy Advisor, Social Sector, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, said, “Even in 2022, misconceptions about menstruation and menstrual health management (MHM) are still prevalent in the society, which is very unfortunate.
Menstruation is not just a woman’s personal matter; it involves the reproduction of the human species and is not something secret. We have to shed common misconceptions about menstruation.”
During the event, a mobile app for menstrual health and hygiene management was launched.
The event began with a welcome address by Hasin Jahan, Chairperson, MHM Platform and Country Director, WaterAid Bangladesh. Afterward, Shofiqul Alam, WASH Specialist, UNICEF, presented a snapshot of National Menstrual Hygiene Management Strategy 2021.
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