The first period can be met with either celebration, fear or concern. For every girl, this signifies an important transition to womanhood - a time when they would benefit from the support of family and friends.
Many girls do not have complete and accurate understanding of menstruation as a normal biological process. Educating girls before their first period -- and, importantly, boys -- on menstruation, builds their confidence, contributes to social solidarity and encourages healthy habits. Such information should be provided at home and at school.
Poor menstrual hygiene can pose physical health risks and has been linked to reproductive and urinary tract infections. Many girls and women have limited options for affordable menstrual materials. Providing access to private facilities with water and safer low-cost menstrual materials could reduce urogenital diseases.
Girls and women with disabilities and special needs face additional challenges with menstrual hygiene and are affected disproportionately with lack of access to toilets with water and materials to manage their period.
Many women and girls do not have access to materials to manage their menstruation, especially in times of emergency -- natural disasters and conflicts.
Globally, 2.3 billion people lack basic sanitation services and in Least Developed Countries only 27 per cent of the population has a hand washing facility with water and soap at home. Managing periods at home is a major challenge for women and adolescent girls who lack these basic facilities at home.
About half of the schools in low-income countries lack adequate drinking water, sanitation and hygiene crucial for girls and female teachers to manage their period. Inadequate facilities can affect girls’ experience at school, causing them to miss school during their period. All schools should provide running water, safe and clean toilets for adolescent girls.
Blood Speaks is working with local communities, schools and governments to research and provide information about menstruation, promote positive hygiene habits and break down taboos.
We are also undertaking campaigns to provide adequate facilities and supplies, including toilets, reusable sanitary kits soap and water to schools in some of the poorest regions.
Mountain Film Festival
In December 2018 we invited to join other activists and bring Blood Speaks to the Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival.
Project creator Poulomi Basu spoke alongside …
To engage grassroots communities we have been collaborating with Just Another Photo Festival, a geruilla media festival that takes visual media to that democratizes visual media and forges new audiences through their outreach campaigns.