If you think this is a weird day to commemorate and that everybody knows periods are normal and we don’t need to worry about stigma any more, think again!
Talking about menstruation and helping break the taboos is one of my goals as a fertility awareness educator, and is an important feminist issue for all of us to think about.
I could list a million ways in which periods are still taboo to talk about, in which menstruators are still made to feel less than adequate for experiencing what is a totally natural part of life, and how they suffer for simply being born female.
If feminism is about all genders being treated equally and having access to equal opportunities, then we still have a lot of work to do when it comes to how menstruation is perceived in our world!
The slogan for Menstrual Hygiene Day this year is “Every day can be a good day.” Their point is that menstruators don’t need to feel ashamed by having their period, we can break the stigma, we can improve people’s lives by talking about periods, and even a day when you have your period can be a good day.
Their vision is “to create a world in which every woman and girl can manage her menstruation in a hygienic way – wherever she is – in privacy, safety and with dignity.” Sounds good to me!
This is in contrast to how it is now for some women and girls who don’t have access to clean menstrual products, who are ostracized when they are bleeding, who drop out of school because of their period, and more. Heck, the United Nations has even declared menstruation as one of the factors affecting global Sustainable Development Goals!
And we don’t have to go very far from home to see the same thing happening to women who are either very poor, living on the streets, or in other similar situations in our own cities.
It doesn’t have to be this way, and it can be a good day, even on days when women and girls have their period. So start talking about it, take some kind of action, and help us break the taboos for better menstrual health and hygiene around the world.
(and if you feel like joining the conversation on social media, check out #menstruationmatters, #MHDay, or #MenstrualHygieneDay)
Looking for a way to improve your own period? Check out my programs! Want to support women in Vancouver or Uganda to have happier periods? Check out the great work that Lunapads is doing (I’m an Ambassador for them too!).