WaterAid Australia and Pacific Menstrual Health Network Launch Innovative Video Series Ahead of Global Menstrual Hygiene Day

2 min read
Pacific Periods Campaign

In anticipation of Global Menstrual Hygiene Day on 28 May, WaterAid Australia, proudly in partnership with the Pacific Menstrual Health Network (PMHN) , has today launched its latest campaign; an innovative video series aimed at destigmatising menstruation across the Pacific region. 

The initiative showcases a series of short videos shot in six Pacific countries, featuring local female storytellers sharing their personal experiences with menstruation and one male storyteller helping break the taboo.  

In the Pacific, people who menstruate often experience fear and shame, as well as practical challenges in managing their periods effectively, such as lack of menstrual products, water and sanitation infrastructure or health services to managing menstruation. 

Set in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, the videos capture the diverse experiences and cultural nuances surrounding menstruation in the region.  

Leilani from PNG is one of the storytellers of the series
Leilani from PNG is one of the storytellers of the series

Addressing menstruation is essential to achieving gender equality and advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights, education and other outcomes in the Pacific. However, despite being a common experience, menstrual health remains largely neglected by policymakers, researchers and practitioners across the region.

Reflecting on this initiative, WaterAid Australia's leading expert on gender, equality and social inclusion Chelsea Huggett said,  

"WaterAid Australia is proud to support the Pacific Menstrual Health Network's powerful project. These videos not only challenge taboos, they empower women through the art of storytelling. They serve as powerful tools for destigmatising menstruation and advocating for menstrual health rights across the Pacific."

The PMHN Secretariat Hannah Tamata said The Network is extremely excited to launch the Pacific Period Stories. 

“We are grateful for those who participated in the project. We have ventured on this journey to ensure our Pacific voices are amplified. We urgently need our Pacific governments to take action to develop and deliver menstrual health services to improve women and girls’ lives in the Pacific.  We can't talk about women and girls without addressing menstrual health and hygiene in the Pacific."

By harnessing the tradition of oral storytelling deeply ingrained in Pacific culture, the PMHN aims to foster empathy, understanding and acceptance of menstruation. 

"Our approach to addressing menstrual health is based on evidence from an 18-country regional review we collaborated on last year with the Burnet Institute and UNICEF, showing the significant unmet need of menstrual health in the region” explains Tom Muller, Chief Executive of WaterAid Australia.  

"Through these narratives, we seek to spark meaningful conversations, challenge societal norms and advocate for the prioritisation of menstrual health rights by decision-makers." 

WaterAid Australia is amplifying these crucial stories and encouraging all to contribute to the destigmatisation of menstruation across the Pacific.  

Visit: https://www.wateraid.org/au/stories/pacific-period-stories