Women and Girls Menstrual Health Matters

Miss Chan Promotes Importance of Menstrual Hygiene Management

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Miss Solomon Islands, Emily Chan speaking during the event.

MENSTRUAL Hygiene Management (MHM) has touched my life as it has touched the lives of millions of my friends globally and those who are here in the country, according to Miss Solomon Islands Emily Chan.

Miss Chan made the relevant statement to participants who attended the recently organised a one-day celebratory official program to mark the Menstrual Hygiene Day at the Maranatha Hall in Honiara.

“Menstruation Hygiene Management is an issue that is an integral part of my existence. Menstrual Hygiene as I believe is fundamental to the dignity and wellbeing of all women and girls. Good menstrual hygiene is crucial for the health, education and dignity of girls and women.”

“When girls have adequate information on menstrual hygiene and its management, it empowers them, enhances their self- esteem and positively impacts their overall growth and development.”

“I feel, addressing MHM in schools can make sure girls can stay at school and prevent an early marriage,” Miss Chan stated.

The primary aim of the celebration was to break the silence and build awareness about the basic role that good menstrual hygiene management plays in enabling women and girls to reach their full potential and also to raise awareness on challenges women and girls worldwide face due to their menstruation and highlights solutions that address these challenges including through media work.

Ms Chan said that when a girl enters her puberty; she is challenged with a whole lot of traditional beliefs and customs imposed by family.

“Some places during menstruation period girls are impure to collect water and so impure that she must sleep outside of the house. Can society sensitive enough to do away with these social norms, beliefs and taboos, which causes exclusion of women?

The goal of menstrual hygiene management is to ensure that women and girls can manage their periods in a way that is not only healthy, but that enables their full participation in school, work, and other activities. The field of sexual and reproductive health and rights has not embraced menstrual hygiene management.

Menstruation or Periods has long been a taboo topic. But in the past year, mainstream media has been breaking that taboo, with stories about new menstrual products, astronauts dealing with menstruation, and diminished shame about periods. And May 28th is Menstrual Hygiene Day, a day to speak out about and celebrate menstruation.

Miss Chan said that as the Miss Solomon Islands 2018, she reaffirms her commitment to work for this cause of women and girls.

“I as Miss Solomon Islands, reaffirm my commitment to work for this cause of women and girls and do all I can to support and promote menstrual Hygiene management in every school in the country.”

She added that as a student herself – girls want very simple things in school to help manage those few days every month.

“Education is not only about text books, is not only about classrooms and students and teachers but, it is about the whole physical environment in a school that contributes to learning. It is about ensuring that students have access to proper, well maintained WASH facility, it’s about ensuring soap is available, water is available and ensuring information is also available.

“I have a dream and that dream is to live in a country where every school has a good sanitation. I want to live in a country where the girls are confident, happy and are successful in doing well in every sphere of their lives,” Miss Solomon Islands said.

There is still at least one place where we would expect to hear about menstruation, but are not: within the community working on sexual and reproductive health services and reproductive rights.

Work on menstruation, known as menstrual hygiene management, grew out of the education sector. That is because in many developing countries, girls miss classes and may drop out of school when they have their periods. Sanitary pads or other resources are cost-prohibitive or otherwise unavailable; schools may not have safe, clean or private toilets where girls can manage their periods; and girls are scared that classmates will notice that they are menstruating.

The water, sanitation and hygiene sector also has a strong focus on menstrual hygiene management, working with schools and communities to build safe, clean toilets and promote hygiene in all its forms. The goal of menstrual hygiene management is to ensure that women and girls can manage their periods in a way that is not only healthy, but that enables their full participation in school, work, and other activities.