The Pacific Menstrual Health Network - Raising Voices on Menstrual Health
Women’s groups, gender equality activists and social enterprise are bringing their voices together and establishing the Pacific Menstrual Health Network. The formation of the Network is being led by local civil society, social enterprise and small business in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Vanuatu and Samoa.
Across the Pacific, adolescent girls, women and gender diverse people who menstruate experience fear, shame and discrimination, as well as practical challenges like lack of menstrual products, water and sanitation infrastructure or health services to managing menstruation.
For women and girls with disabilities, this can be even harder with added stigma due to disability, or inaccessible infrastructure and services. With COVID-19 putting the world in lockdown, and Cyclone Harold impacting communities across the Pacific, managing a menstrual period can be close to impossible. These challenges negatively impact on health, participation at school, work and in daily life.
Across the globe, there are emerging regional and national movements and coalitions to advocate governments and donors for improved menstrual health and rights. The Pacific Menstrual Health Network members are working together to launch the Network and develop a Network Road Map, which will set out a plan for progressing menstrual health and a call to action.
WaterAid and partners will undertake scoping and policy analysis to lay the foundations for progressing menstrual health, supported by a series of country case studies to document how change happens, and best practice tools and approaches. This project is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP). The project will:
Be led by multi-sectoral Paciﬁc actors: and be a platform to share ideas on best practice; emerging evidence; guidance materials and information.
Drive collective action and advocacy on menstrual health: actors will be supported to lead national-level action, coordination and represent their country's progress.
Promote a greater shared understanding of menstrual health: among diverse actors of the key opportunities to bring about improved MH outcomes.
Menstrual Hygiene Day 2020
This May, on Menstrual Hygiene Day 2020, partners came together to raise their voices across the region on the importance and need for improved menstrual health and hygiene for women and girls.
Periods don’t stop in emergencies, and the Pacific Periods campaign is pointing the spotlight on the unique experiences and challenges in the Pacific, and the challenge of increasing emergencies and the impact on women and girls' lives.
The campaign, which launched on Menstrual Hygiene Day, Thursday, May 28th, will tackle period stigma and discrimination, the role for MEN in menstruation, and the rights and needs of women and girls with disabilities.
Find more graphics here
Watch WaterAid Australia's webinar below:
The Network is being started by the following local civil society, social enterprise and small business in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Vanuatu and Samoa: