As the world recognizes Menstrual Hygiene Day on 28 May, MIET AFRICA, in partnership with the Basic Education Department (South Africa), UNESCO, and Days for Girls International, is developing guidelines to address menstrual health challenges in South African schools. The objective is to establish a sustainable framework that encompasses menstrual hygiene education, facilities, and services, all of which are crucial for supporting the health and well-being of all learners.
The key aims of this menstrual health intervention are to:
- Build awareness and engage stakeholders to raise awareness and actively involve learners, teachers, caregivers, and policy makers, in order to foster a comprehensive understanding of menstrual health.
- Strengthen management and coordinating structures at the school level by enhancing the planning and implementation of structured menstrual hygiene management (MHM) education and support programmes within schools.
- Create a safe and enabling school environment, one that respects the rights, privacy, and dignity of menstruators. This involves providing appropriate facilities and support systems that contribute to the overall well-being of menstruators, and promotes gender equality.
The ultimate goal is to create an environment where menstruators can effectively manage their periods safely and with dignity, enabling them to fully participate in their education and reach their maximum potential.
MIET AFRICA is working towards a world where menstruation does not hold anyone back. This means striving for the following:
- Basic knowledge about menstruation for all: Ensuring that everyone has access to essential information about menstruation, fostering awareness and understanding.
- Access and affordability of menstrual products: Ensuring that everyone has access to the menstrual products of their choice, regardless of financial circumstances.
- Elimination of period stigma: Working to eradicate societal stigma associated with menstruation, so that it becomes a normalized and accepted part of life.
- Access to period-friendly water, sanitation, and hygiene facilities: Promoting universal access to safe and hygienic facilities that cater to the specific needs of menstruators, including clean toilets and proper waste management.
By working towards these objectives, we aim to promote inclusivity and reduce stigma and create a world where menstruation is managed safely, hygienically, confidently, and without shame, enabling those who menstruate to fully participate in society to reach their full potential.