May 28th, 2014, AWON celebrated Menstrual Hygiene Day by organizing different programs with the school children of Lamra VDC of Jumla.
It was the very first Menstrual Hygiene Day celebrated throughout the world with activities to garner awareness around menstruation, and menstruation hygiene, in addition to celebrating this natural process. Although the practice of Chhaupadi was outlawed by the Nepali Supreme Court in 2003, many women, especially in rural areas, still observe Chhaupadi.
Many men were involved in this important discussion about menstruation, including our own Assistant Officer, Kashab Dhital. Educating and involving men is crucial to gather support for girls and women.
"Half of the people on the planet are female, most of whom begin their cycles between 9-17 years of age.
Despite menstruation being a natural process that is part of nearly every girl and woman’s life, it is still treated as a taboo in countless cultures and societies across the globe. A profound silence around the topic, combined with a lack of access to information, results in girls and women possessing very little understanding of their own bodies. Many are managing their periods in an unsafe and unhygienic manner, using old rags or other unhygienic and ineffective materials. These problems are exacerbated by limited access to and affordability of hygienic products, safe and private sanitation facilities, inconsistent supplies of water for personal hygiene, and inadequate disposal options.
As a result of the above, menstruating girls and women often feel ashamed and embarrassed about themselves, excarbating the silence because they would rather keep it a secret than talk about it. Facing health problems and socio-cultural taboos surrounding their periods, they become isolated from family, school, and their communities. Women and girls miss school and productive work days, thus falling behind their male counterparts."-Menstrual Hygiene Day
AWON is proud to have been a part of the global dialogue and celebration for Menstrual Hygiene Day. For more information, please visit http://menstrualhygieneday.org