Happy Menstrual Hygiene Day!
Wait… Menstrual Hygiene Day? What’s that all about?
Well, it’s a day to raise awareness of the challenges faced by the 1.25 billion women worldwide who can’t access decent sanitary facilities during their period. Last year saw the inaugural MHD and, this year, a range of organisations from business and civil society are joining in on the action.
Getting people to notice and engage with issues often seen as taboo takes creative thinking and credibility to talk about the topic. WaterAid’s If men had periods campaign has both of these in spades. WaterAid is one of the most loved NGOs working in water, sanitation and hygiene, and this campaign, made up of with three short videos exploring how the world would talk about periods if men had them too, had the salt office cracking up.
Don’t underestimate the power of global days of recognition. In 2014, UN members states unanimously voted for World Toilet Day to be officially recognised on November 19th every year, following advocacy from groups like the World Toilet Organization, WaterAid, the WSSCC, businesses including Unilever, and cross-sector collaborations like the Toilet Board Coalition. The day highlights the plight of the 2.5 billion people around the world who don’t have access to a toilet, and the impacts this has on health, the environment and gender equality.
Global Handwashing Day is another day that’s close to our hearts at salt. Back in 2008, we worked with Lifebuoy and its partners in the Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing to create a day that puts the spotlight on handwashing with soap, the single most cost effective public health intervention. Global Handwashing Day has gone from strength to strength, in fact, Lifebuoy estimates that it will reach 100 million people this year, with the ambition of one billion by 2020, with messages about the importance of using soap to wash your hands.
If you’re interested in water, sanitation and hygiene, make sure you add these dates to your diary:
– World Water Day: March 22nd
– Menstrual Hygiene Day: May 28th
– Launch of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals: September 2015
– Global Handwashing Day: October 15th
– World Toilet Day: November 19th
Photo credit: Quinn Dombrowski