For a disturbingly large amount of the world’s female population, the few days a month of the menses are ‘a time of shame’.
Menstruation is a natural process in which blood which was created by the body to cushion an egg is flushed from the body if the owner of the said egg does not become pregnant. It is a normal action which millions of women across the world experience, and this day seeks to remove any taboo associated with it.
After all, the body’s process which allows for the conception of children should be celebrated, surely?
The History of Menstrual Hygiene Awareness Day
Menstrual Hygiene Awareness Day was created by the German-based organization NGO WASH United as recently as 2014. The day was created to normalize the action of menstruation and the importance of access to hygiene during this time, with the support of over 270 global partners.
Interestingly, the reason that May 28th was chosen is that May is the 5th month of the year – most women average to having their period for 5 days, and their cycle tends to be at 28 days. So in a way, 28th of May is especially symbolic!
Today ensures that awareness is increased regarding the access to menstrual hygiene that women have across the world. It is a basic human right that women worldwide are given the right materials to collect blood during this time, and that this material is able to be changed in total privacy.
The organizers behind this day also assert that correct washing facilities are given to women at this time and that young woman have given the correct educational materials regarding the changes which will occur in their bodies.
Menstruation is a biological fact, and this day aims to ensure that any kind of stigma suffered regarding it is stopped – and girls are taught that this is natural and nothing to be ashamed about.
How to Celebrate Menstrual Hygiene Day
In some parts of the world, the simple act of menstruation is a subject of shame. You can donate to different charities to help the right information being sent to schools and ensure that women in such places are given the support they need.
Perhaps today is a good day to write to your MP about the tampon tax, or you could perhaps look at the fascinating history of menstrual health?
On this day, make sure that you get involved in the conversation on social media by using the hashtag #mensturalhygieneday!