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Menstrual Hygiene Day 2016: Menstruation Matters to Everyone, Everywhere

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Menstruation Matters...

... because women and girls shouldn't have to miss out on education, work and other opportunities in life, when they cannot manage their menstruation with normalcy and in dignity.

Imagine you're a girl in a low-income country, such as Tanzania or Malawi, who just got your period. With no money to buy disposable pads, you use cloth rags to catch your menstrual blood. You sit in the back of class, so no one can see if your blood leaks on your skirt. Halfway through the day, you need to change your pad. You sneak to the toilet because you don't want to get ridiculed. The only toilet in your school is blocked up with poop and has no door and no basin. You're not sure if you should change your pad since there's no place for you to wash the rag, and you don't want to be seen carrying it around. What would you do?

Unfortunately, most girls' answer would be to go home. Managing their periods in school is difficult without the proper sanitary materials and facilities. Most girls skip school when on their periods; some even drop out altogether. They lose out on education, leading to low-wage jobs, perpetuating the cycle of poverty and gender inequality.



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