Menstruation is a normal and natural biological process experienced every month by many people for a large proportion of their lives. Despite this, it is shrouded by silence, burdened with stigma and made immensely challenging for millions of people who menstruate around the world.
Ensuring adequate facilities and products for menstrual hygiene for all that require them is essential if we are to honour the commitment made to pay special attention to people who menstruate in the drive towards S&H services. In addition to facilities and products, the sector also needs to take a lead in challenging the shame and stigma associated with menstruation, as well as the underlying powerful, deeply ingrained patriarchal systems which aim to control the bodies of women and sexual and gender minorities.
Using a gender transformative lens, everyone should all be engaged in tackling barriers to improved menstrual health and hygiene. However, roles and responsibilities should be considered – people who menstruate should be supported to take leadership positions with respect to menstrual health and hygiene while others should be engaged as partners and allies.