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February 2021
Menstrual Memo (One of our best!)


Sending our best, one Memo at a time

As always, we are in awe of all the amazing work that the menstrual health community continues to achieve despite the global pandemic to move menstrual and female health forward!
In this Memo, we have some fantastic events to put on your radar, awesome new resources to use (period stock photos, hello!), a few exciting announcements and LOTS OF NEW OPPORTUNITIES on our Community Blackboard!
But first - menstrual predictions for 2021!

Your trustworthy period pals,  



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MH Hub reloaded - launching soon!

SNEAK PEEK

In spring 2021, we will be transitioning our website and Knowledge Hive into a community platform for our 825+ community on the Menstrual Map! On our new platform, you will be able to more easily access information and connect with others also working in menstrual health.

In parallel, we will be launching our new brand,

an impact agency focused on gender and female health innovation.
We advise businesses, institutions and financial actors on how to create inclusive, sustainable business practices and design Women-Centered products and services. Stay tuned! 

Get in touch to learn more about Madami Consulting
Despite a world fighting a pandemic, 2021 is really showing great promise in the field of female health. We predict seeing even more progress, such as:
  • More R&D and funding for initiatives addressing perimenopause and menopause: By 2025, an estimated 1.1 billion women will be menopausal (this is not a niche market). And yet, the majority of the innovation focus has been on birth control and fertility treatments. Look out for more substantial research studies, innovative pharmaceutical solutions and a proliferation of wearable technology to saturate the innovation landscape for older menstruators in 2021. 
   
  • There will be a increased focus on menstrual pain, irregularities and symptoms, such as heavy menstrual bleeding, endometriosis, fibroids and PCOS: Menstrual health is increasingly being seen as a critical pain point for healthcare providers and companies of all sizes to address. With this there we will likely see even more commercialization of targeted supplements / wearable devices / treatments that test, monitor biomarkers or treat hormonal imbalances and menstrual irregularities. 
Enjoying these insights?
Contact us to get on the waitlist for for a new, exclusive paid 
Female Health Industry Insights Memo launching later this year! 
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Our Thought Leadership on Menstrual Advocacy
Together with our partners DivaCares by DivaCup, we published an article about the common misconceptions and myths that surround menstrual advocacy. In this post, we set the record straight to inform and improve advocacy around MHH. 
This second thought piece reflects on Scotland’s brand-new period policy. As gender equality advocates, how can we learn & grow from this precedent? Written for policymakers, here we share three tips for crafting solid, gender equitable policy.
 
Check us out on Medium
Image: MH Hub
 
We now have a Memo Menstrual in Spanish! 🎉

EDUCATION

 Love the Menstrual Memo but wish that it was in Spanish? The MH Hub just launched our first Spanish-language Memo Menstrual that will be coming out every two months. Full of victories, events, and information all about the Spanish-speaking menstrual community, send the Spanish Memo to colleagues who would enjoy!

Sign up for the 'Memo Menstrual' en Español
Revolutionizing research & treatment options for fibroids

EDUCATION

The future of female health needs your help!
The Fibroid Foundation has launched the educational portal 'Fibroids Health' that will host a series of 4 surveys this year. These surveys aim to improve the knowledge and evidence around uterine fibroids to improve medical advice and inform better treatment options for those who suffer from this below-the-belt condition that affects up to 70% of women*.

These surveys are relying on experiences from women* over the age of 18, who have been diagnosed with uterine fibroids or are experiencing heavy menstrual bleeding/symptoms associated with fibroids.

Please share with anyone you know who has experienced fibroids!

Experience fibroids? Take this survey!


Country-Level Menstrual Policy Updates

POLICY
  • In Ethiopia, menstrual products were recognized as the essential items that they are, and the tax on them was reduced from 30% to 10%
  • France has dedicated €5 million to fight period poverty, which affects around 2 million menstruators in France every year. The money will go to aid organizations already working on disturbing menstruation products to homeless people, prisons, and schools.
  • The UK eliminated all tax on menstrual products! If you want to be kept abreast of all  ‘tampon’ tax news and updates
  • WASH United created this period tax website with a global map and database, case studies and campaign studies, an advocacy guide and more.
Check out more policies in our Knowledge Hive
Photo by Vulvani - www.vulvani.com
"Period Pain'. Image: Vulvani Gallery
 
FINALLY! Legit stock photos for 'menstruation'

INNOVATION

We've often struggled to find good quality menstruation-related photos. Not anymore! The Vulvani Gallery offers free menstruation stock photos! Free! Their aim is to represent menstruation how it actually is, with real menstrual blood (no blue liquid!) and a variety of menstrual products. All they ask is for people to give them the appropriate credit in the captions and in the alt text, with an active link. And, if you publish the pictures on social networks, please link both in the picture and in the caption. Thanks Vulvani!

Take a browse!
Jobs in Menstrual and Female Health
Opportunities to connect and improve your work 

The Next Health Accelerator by Intrepid Entrepeneurs will provide market readiness training, international mentors and coaches, and access to a strong network of value chain partners and $15,000 worth of seed funding for 10 successful startups. Applications are due by February 14, 2021. 
 
Apply here!

Sukhibhava has opened up 'The Period Fellowship 2021, Pandemic Response', their paid 15-month full-time leadership fellowship designed to nurture future male and female leaders in the menstrual health ecosystem and reduce gender inequity in the most marginalized communities across India. Applications close February 14th. Click here to learn more.

In our Community Insights Report, almost half of you suggested they required support with marketing and communications. So we're excited to introduce you to Empowered Design, a nonprofit which provides pro-bono graphic design services to other nonprofits. The Empowered Design team has already supported a number of organizations within the Menstrual Health Community, with great success! If you would like support from Empowered Design or to learn more, you can contact them at at: info@empowereddesign.org or visit empowereddesign.org

Want to post something on the new Community Blackboard or in the Menstrual Memo? Contact us to inquire about our affordable rates! 
A Special Celebration: The Stories Behind our Incredible Year

1:00 - 2:00PM PST, February 11th, 2021

Join Days for Girls CEO and Founder, Celeste Mergens, sharing the stories behind their accomplishment of reaching 2.1+ million menstruators to date and talking about the vision for the future of D4G International.

Register here
Making Girls Heard: Participatory Consultation for MHM

8:00 AM EST, February 18th, 2021

Join the Period Posse's first webinar of 2021. Speakers include Zena Itani, from Mercy Corps Jordan, Maggie Kondowe from Plan International Malawi, and
Sara Baumann, from University of Pittsburgh

Register here
 
Advancing Menstrual Equity: How the MHM conversation is evolving in Kenya and Beyond 
 
10-11:00 AM EAT, February 25th, 2021

Join Days for Girls and the African Coalition for Menstrual Health Management and take a closer look at MHM policy wins & challenges, as well as the recent work on menstrual products' standards in East and Southern Africa.

This webinar is for government leaders, advocacy groups, and NGOs seeking to advance menstrual equity at the systemic level through policy shifts and washable pad entrepreneurs and manufacturers seeking resources about washables standards and how to become certified, including KEBS. Attendees will hear practical lessons learned from panelists both in Kenya and South Africa which may be applicable in their own country contexts, equipping stakeholders to engage in MH policy conversations broadly across the region.


Specific Topics Covered:

Orientation to Kenya’s MH policy and priorities, including the new KEBS standard

From policy to practice: Lessons learned from South Africa’s Sanitary Dignity Implementation Framework

Onwards and upwards: What is next in advancing MH policy in Kenya and other African countries?

How the MH conversation is evolving


Register here

 What can employers do to support people with endometriosis at work?
 
12:00-1:00 PM GMT, March 11th, 2021

Do you want to learn more about how to support those with endometriosis in the workplace? Join us for a lunchtime panel discussion to hear more about what you can do to better support the 1.5million with endometriosis at work.
Guest speakers include Endometriosis UK, Shazia Ginai – CEO of Neuro-Insight, Kathryn Pinner from Standard Life Aberdeen, and Inspector Lisa Leddar from Merseyside Police.

Register here

1. Sommer et al., 2021: Menstrual Hygiene Management in Schools: Midway Progress Update on the 'MHM in Ten" 2014 - 2024 Global Agenda. A global desk review was done from April to June 2019 to assess progress and gaps across the 5 priority areas of ten-year agenda 2014-2024, referred to as Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) in Ten (MHM in Ten). Results: The review indicates that for priority (1), the evidence base for MHM in schools has strengthened considerably; for priority (2) global guidelines for MHM in schools have yet to be created; for priority (3) numerous evidence-based advocacy platforms have emerged to support MHM efforts; for priority (4) a growing engagement, responsibility, and ownership of MHM in schools amongst governments globally, and for priority (5) although MHM is beginning to be integrated into country-level education systems, resources are lacking. Multiple recommendations are suggested including (1) To provide support for learning from implementation of government programmes and policies to share across country governments; (2) To conduct longitudinal research to measure relevant impact and outcomes; (3) To improve investment in the evidence base for addressing MHM in schools, particularly research targeting the most underserved; and (4) To better understand costs and effectiveness, and the benefits of comprehensive, cross-sectoral approaches.

2. Critchley et al., 2021: Menstration Should Not be Overlooked in Control of Anemia. . The 2020 World Health Organisation report on global reduction efforts for anaemia in people who menstruate indicates that in most countries the prevalence of anaemia in menstruators has increased and, even in countries where there has been some reduction, no country is on target for a 50% reduction by 2025. To date, global health efforts to reduce anaemia focus largely on nutrition. Menstruators with anaemia and debilitating heavy menstrual bleeding might be more motivated to comply with effective treatments for heavy bleeding than with dietary interventions for anaemia. The contribution of menstruation and heavy menstrual bleeding to iron deficiency and anaemia deserves wide recognition by people who menstruate, their families, employers, and society. Menstruation can no longer be a taboo topic.
3. Pokhrel, D., Bhattarai, S., Emgård, M. et al. Acceptability and feasibility of using vaginal menstrual cups among schoolgirls in rural Nepal: a qualitative pilot study. The use of vaginal menstrual cups for menstrual hygiene management among schoolgirls in Thokarpa, Sindupalchowk, Nepal, appears feasible and acceptable, as it involves practical, economic and environmental advantages. However, the scale-up of menstrual cups will require resolving described concerns and discomforts and fostering peer and family support.

The Global Menstrual Map
823 organizations & counting! 

With over 43,000 views to date, the Menstrual Map is the most comprehensive overview of who is doing what, where, around menstrual health and periods, worldwide
Register your work on the Menstrual Map!
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P.s. Check out past Menstrual Memos here!
*We use the word female to denote the sex that can bear offspring or produce eggs, distinguished biologically by the production of gametes (ova). At the MH Hub, the term 'female health' is used to capture the experiences related to the presence of the menstrual cycle and the specific health issues an individual may face over their life cycle as a result.  We recognize that not all women menstruate, and not all who menstruate identify with being a woman, and strongly advocate for the inclusion of diverse voices, identities and bodies in discussions around female and menstrual health.


Copyright © 2021, Menstrual Health Hub gUG, All rights reserved.


The Menstrual Health Hub (MH Hub) is a female health impact organization focused on ecosystem-building, knowledge sharing and high-level advocacy around menstrual health worldwide. Menstrual Health Hub gUG (haftungsbeschränkt) is a German nonprofit-enterprise company (limited liability) MH Hug UG is a strategic consulting agency specializing in gender and female health. MH Hub UG (haftungsbeschränkt) is an German enterprise company (limited liability). Both companies are registered at Factory Berlin, 76/77 Rheinsbergerstraße, 10115 Berlin, Germany. 

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