I’m going to challenge you today to talk about a subject that isn’t mentioned a whole lot in everyday conversation.
When’s the last time you’ve had any real conversation about menstruation, if ever?
And, no, complaining about your period or wondering if someone else is one hers does not count as a real conversation.
Think about commercials you’ve seen for sanitary napkins and tampons. Can you name any that don’t focus on hiding your period in a discreet manner?
The fact is that more than 800 million women and girls between the ages of 15 and 49 are menstruating worldwide on a daily basis. While we are all aware women have periods, we don’t like to discuss it. The topic of menstruation is taboo, and it is far worse in the developing world. Girls miss school, women miss work, and many lack access to any form of sanitary napkins, let alone a safe, discreet place to use them. Some girls and women are banished from their homes during their cycle.
Matt Damon, actor and co-founder of Water.org, is curating the ONE Girls and Women blog in June. Being particularly interested in the topics of clean water and sanitation, I was honored to have been asked to write a water-related post for ONE this month.
Inspired by WaterAid’s recent “Manpons” campaign for Menstrual Hygiene Day, I decided to focus on how women and girls who do not have access to clean water and sanitation are affected when they get their period.
Can you imagine what you would do if you got your period in a place without access to pads, tampons, bathrooms or clean water?
Please take a few moments to read my post on ONE about this issue and what is(n’t) being done about it globally.
Special thanks to WaterAid America for providing me with the resources for this article!
Each Friday, the another jennifer blog shares stories of those who incorporate philanthropy into their everyday lives – personally and professionally – in a creative and unique way. If you have a story you’d like to share, please contact Jennifer. Read past stories here.