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Menstrual Memo sent with love (5 min. read)
 

Times are tough. Hang in, there!
We know you're doing the best you can! 



As the global pandemic and the quest for racial justice rages on, one thing is clear: 2020 has forever altered the fabric of society. All the more reason to continue building a resilient and intersectional global menstrual health community that keeps supporting each other's work to push female health and gender equality forward. A future where menstrual health is a priority in the fight towards gender and racial equality is a stronger future for everyone, everywhere!

We've got some inspiring victories for you, including a quick MH Community Insights Poll (please!), MHH pandemic innovation, INCREDIBLE policy progress from Africa, new research and more!



Your period pals FOREVER,



P.S. Click here for the complete Menstrual Memo!

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Race matters in the fight towards menstrual health.
PERIOD. 


RESEARCH / EDUCATION / POLICY / INNOVATION

The protests against police brutality in the US have ignited a wake-up call worldwide to the broader discussion about the disease that is institutional racism and how it exists within every layer of society. The movement towards menstrual equity is strong and inspiring precisely because of the work of global BIPOC (black, indigenous and people of color)-led grassroots organizations, businesses, researchers, educators, etc. have been doing from all corners of the earth. These voices have often been marginalized, ignored, or worse, steam-rolled, as experienced by Ileri Jaiyeoba's and her concerns in A Call For Accountability: Anti Blackness in the Menstrual Justice Space.

BIPOC voices are essential to a future where female health is prioritized in the fight towards racial and gender equality. We cannot have one without the other. We have stood and will always stand with BIPOC-led entities against injustice. PERIOD. 
Learn more about health equity for black women & girls in the US

Help design more effective opportunities for collaborative impact in this global menstrual community! 

RESEARCH / EDUCATION / POLICY / INNOVATION


In the spirit of uniting and amplifying the work of the global menstrual community, we will be overhauling our website to become a more interactive social network. In 2021 the MH Hub will become a social network that activates collaboration amongst our 725+ members, emphasising international progress and real opportunities to achieve even more collective impact around menstrual health and hygiene (MHH)!

To do this, we need to understand what you need and what you can give!
(It only takes a few minutes, THANK YOU!)

Take the MH Hub Community Insights Poll!

July is Fibroid Awareness Month!

INNOVATION

Thanks to the Fibroid Foundation, July is Fibroid Awareness Month and therefore a time to draw attention to a very common, but generally under-discussed medical issue. Fibroids are abnormal, noncancerous growths that develop in or on a uterus which can sometimes become quite large and cause severe abdominal pain and heavy periods. July brings attention to the fact that fibroids disproportionately affect black women & menstruators, however with better education and awareness of treatment and care options, we can work to close these disparities in health information and access.
Health Equity
is this year's theme, meaning that everyone has the right to live as healthy as possible, free from barriers such as poverty, discrimination, and the consequences of those barriers on their health!
Learn more about the #FibroidStrong community
MHH policies passed in South Africa and Kenya

POLICY

In South Africa, the first washable reusable sanitary towel standard was passed by the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS). This standard will help women and girls in South Africa access safe menstrual products, ensuring another viable option to manage their periods, which especially necessary now, during the pandemic. The standard was in development for the last two years, with a number of members on the Washable Task Committee, including Days for Girls International.

More on the South African Reusable Pads Policy

...and on 28 May, the National MHM Policy was signed by the Kenyan Ministry of Health and launched by the government and partners. It will be integrated into current government programs that have MHM components. The policy works towards achieving the Kenya Vision 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and also fights against taboos and discrimination around menstruation, provides education information, ensures a safe and hygienic environment for their menstrual health needs, and more!
 
Menstrual health experts weigh in on the Kenyan MHM policy
Image: Sukhibhava

Pivoting in the pandemic:
Menstrual health innovation during COVID19 in India


INNOVATION

In the wake of COVID19 and the inability to continue running a full-time community education programmes due to lockdown measures in India, Sukhibhava undertook a remote assessment to evaluate the pandemic's impact on women and girls across urban poor communities. After a few months of hard work, their team pivoted to launch an emergency helpline called 'Hello Saheli', an incredible one-stop shop that provides menstrual & sexual reproductive health education as well as free tele-gynaecology services. We love their quick thinking and capacity to flexible and change direction to meet the needs of the community!
Give a Missed Call to 'Hello Saheli' at +918047104234
Brand New!
MH Hub Thought Leadership Articles
Image: Unsplash

Just How Much Can Menstruation affect Girls Education?


In this article published on Apolitical, we explore the role that the menstrual cycle plays in girls ability to access an education and if the menstrual cycle is indeed a barrier. Take a read through this thoughtful educational piece!

Image: NOAA on Unsplash

PMDD: Learning to
Weather the Storm


Guest blogger Terri Harris writes about her experiences with Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD). In a vulnerable journey, she talks about her personal experience with the disorder, which around 2% menstruators suffer with. Weather the storm with Terri.

1. WoMena, 2020: Beyond Distribution: A Feasibility Study of Introducing a Menstrual Health Component into Four Secondary Schools in Buikwe District, Uganda (Phase 1).  A pilot intervention was conducted by WoMena Uganda in collaboration with the Icelandic Embassy and the Icelandic International Assistance Development Agency in four secondary schools in Buikwe districts, Uganda to integrate a Menstrual Health Management (MHM) component into the selected secondary schools and to assess the appropriateness of introducing menstrual cups (MCs) and reusable pads to schoolgirls from April 2017 to November 2018. 

2. WoMena, 2020: Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on menstruating women and girls in Uganda: Preliminary findings. WoMena Uganda undertook a rapid assessment among 69 participants in six districts in Uganda to understand the impact of COVID-19 on how women & girls manage their menstruation in Uganda. Results: 35% are experiencing changes in their menstruation (e.g. irregular and painful periods) mostly due to stress. 72% reported that there has been an increase of 17-33% in the price of disposable pads. 34% reported that they have had difficulty in accessing menstrual health management (MHM) products due to loss of household income. Participants who use menstrual cups reported more positive feedback in terms of accessing MHM products and managing their period during the COVID-19 pandemic. 14% knew someone or experienced themselves violence because they are using household finances for MHM products.

3. WoMena FAQ, 2020: What are the links between Menstrual Health Management & Gender-Based Violence. There is a growing understanding that gender-based violence (GBV) has many dimensions, both physical and psychological. It additionally includes both a deliberate deprive of dignity and access to basic services. This also applies to MHM. This FAQ explores the link between GBV and MHM. Many dimensions have been found to have an association with GBV: early/child/forced marriage, transactional sex, poor access to WASH in schools, and in life in general, education, and misconceptions and harmful traditional practices. Many of these associations are or can be expected to be exacerbated in crisis situations e.g. in humanitarian settings and the COVID-19 pandemic.

4. Babagoli et al., 2020: The Cost‐Benefit and Cost‐Effectiveness of Providing Menstrual Cups and Sanitary Pads to Schoolgirls in Rural Kenya. A randomised controlled feasibility study was conducted to explore the cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness of providing menstrual cups (MCs) and disposable pads to primary schoolgirls aged 14-16 years old in Siaya County in western Kenya. Results: Provision of MCs costs 2.73 USD annually per student, and provision of disposable pads costs 22.42 USD annually per student. The health impacts of the MC programme were greater compared to the health effects of disposable pad programmes. The disposable pad programme had positive benefits on school attendance. However, the authors said that they may not be able to detect a treatment effect of the MC on school attendance given the longer time required to be adopted to the MC.
Check out more Research in the MH Hub Knowledge Hive
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The Global Menstrual Map
724 registered & going strong! 
 

The Menstrual Health Hub has the most comprehensive overview of who is doing what, where, around menstrual health and periods, worldwide.

The Menstrual Map has over 27,000 views to date!
I want to help improve collaboration in this space!
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Have feedback? We'd love to hear from you! 

Email us at info@mhhub.org
*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 © 2020, 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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