End the stigma and start normalizing periods this Menstrual Hygiene Day
The best advice I got from my dad about my period was: Don’t flush menstrual products down the toilet. I’m sure it wasn’t a conversation–who talks to their dad about their period? I certainly didn’t. I know he was more worried about our plumbing than the environment, but it was still good advice and I got the message. It’s the reason I’m puzzled whenever I see the sign in a public restroom telling me not to flush menstrual hygiene products down the toilet. Didn’t everyone have this talk with their dad? Probably not.
Judy Blume knew that periods were normal back in 1970 when she wrote Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret. Over 50 years later the book has been made into a movie, but attitudes have not changed much. Like no other topic or bodily function, menstruation and menstrual hygiene are stigmatized. People don’t want to talk about it despite the fact that 26% of the population is menstruating and 800 million people menstruate each day. In spite of these numbers, 58% of women have felt embarrassed because they were on their period. When we don’t talk about menstruation, it makes it harder to solve the environmental issues, health aspects and accessibility of menstrual products for people around the world. Menstrual Hygiene Day helps remove the stigma by spreading the message that periods are normal. In fact, the theme for 2023 is “Making menstruation a normal fact of life by 2030”.
[Menstrual Hygiene Day] is observed on the 28th day of the fifth month of the year because menstrual cycles average 28 days in length and people menstruate an average of five days each month.