Celebrating the 10th Menstrual Hygiene Day: A Decade of Breaking Taboos and Empowering Women and Girls

On May 28, 2024, the world marks the 10th anniversary of Menstrual Hygiene Day (MH Day), an occasion dedicated to raising awareness and spreading knowledge about menstrual health and hygiene. Since its inception in 2014 MH Day has grown into a global movement that seeks to break the silence and challenge the stigma surrounding menstruation. This year’s milestone is not just a celebration but a call to action to continue the progress made over the past decade.

Menstrual Hygiene Day was created to address the systemic challenges and cultural taboos that prevent millions of women and girls from managing their periods with dignity. The date, May 28, was chosen symbolically: May is the 5th month of the year, representing the average duration of a menstrual cycle, while 28 corresponds to the average number of days in the cycle. Over the years, MH Day has brought together governments, NGOs, the private sector, and individuals to advocate for safe Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM).

The theme for the 10th MH Day underscores the commitment to making menstruation a normalized and respected aspect of life. The focus is on ensuring that by 2030, no one is held back because they menstruate. This vision aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly those related to health, education, and gender equality.

Despite the progress, significant challenges remain. In many parts of the world, menstruation is still shrouded in stigma, leading to misinformation and harmful practices. Lack of access to sanitary products and adequate sanitary facilities continues to affect millions, particularly in low-income and rural areas.

On the occasion of Menstrual Hygiene Day, various campaigns and activities are organized in our partner countries Colombia, Jordan, Pakistan and Uganda. These will help raise awareness and talk openly about Menstrual Health and Hygiene.

Author: Laura Kieweg