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Menstrual hygiene management and its impact on period equity and optimal vaginal health health news

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From ensuring period equity to promoting optimal vaginal health, here are five key implications of effective menstrual hygiene management, says Vandana Barder, program officer and ActionAid associate director Esther Mariaselvam.

Menstrual hygiene management is not just about period management; It is about promoting equity, health and empowerment for women and girls worldwide. By addressing barriers to menstrual hygiene access and education, we can create a world where every woman can manage her period safely, comfortably and with dignity. Together, let’s break the silence, challenge the stigma and pave the way for a brighter, more equitable future for all.

Period Equity: Bridging the Accessibility Gap

Access to menstrual hygiene products and facilities is a basic human right. Yet, it remains a challenge for many women worldwide. Period poverty disproportionately affects marginalized populations, limiting educational and economic opportunities for women and girls. By advocating for affordable and accessible menstrual products and amenities, we can bridge the gap and ensure that every woman can manage her period with dignity and comfort.

Health and hygiene: prevention of infection and complications

Maintaining proper menstrual hygiene is essential to prevent infections and complications. Improper hygiene practices, such as using unclean materials or changing sanitary products infrequently, can lead to bacterial overgrowth and increase the risk of urinary tract infections, vaginal infections, and other reproductive health problems. Educating women about the importance of hygiene and providing access to clean water and sanitation facilities are important steps in promoting their overall health and well-being.

Breaking the stigma: Empowering women and girls

Menstruation has long been shrouded in stigma and taboo, perpetuating harmful myths and misconceptions. By openly discussing menstruation and promoting menstrual hygiene education, we can break down these barriers and empower women and girls to embrace their bodies with confidence and pride. When women are free from the shame and embarrassment surrounding their period, they can fully participate in society without fear or hesitation.

Environmental Sustainability: Reducing waste and carbon footprint

The environmental impact of menstrual products cannot be ignored. Disposable pads and tampons contribute to large amounts of waste, clogging landfills and polluting our oceans. By adopting eco-friendly options like reusable menstrual cups or cloth pads, women can significantly reduce their carbon footprint and promote environmental sustainability. Supporting sustainable menstrual hygiene practices not only benefits the planet but also empowers women to make choices consistent with their values.

Empowerment and education: increasing confidence and knowledge

Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to menstrual health. Providing comprehensive menstrual hygiene education equips women and girls with the information they need to make informed choices about their bodies. When women understand their menstrual cycles and how to manage them effectively, they gain a sense of control and autonomy over their health. Empowered with knowledge, they can advocate for their needs and rights, driving positive change in their communities and beyond.

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