In Latin America, 2 out of 5 girls miss school during their menstrual period
AHF commemorates Menstrual Health Day in Latin America and the Caribbean and joins the voice of millions of menstruating people: #NoMásEstigma
It is urgent to promote education on menstrual health in the region and end taboos and stigmas that marginalize millions of people who menstruate.
Mexico City, May 23, 2022.- One thousand 800 million people around the world menstruate; but 500 million are denied access to safe facilities and sanitary products to manage their periods healthily (running water, soap, sanitary pads, proper clothing, painkillers, etc).
In Latin America (LA) alone, 43 percent of female students who have their menstrual period prefer not to go to school on those days, either due to lack of supplies to celebrate their menstruation, according to a report from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), published in 2019. This makes menstruation one of the main causes of school absenteeism.
The shortages and inflation caused by COVID-19 have also made shopping for hygiene products significantly more difficult around the world. The lack of access creates difficulties for people who menstruate, such as missing up to 18 days of their school year, depression due to stigma and discrimination.
As governments ease COVID-19 restrictions around the world, millions of menstruating people are returning to school and work, all the while seeking to manage their periods in dire economic conditions and without access to minimal means for survival menstrual management
This Menstrual Health Day, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is calling for a new normal where periods are no longer stigmatized for women, girls, transgender men, and non-binary people.
Menstrual Health Day is recognized every May 28 and was proposed by activists in 2014 to highlight the importance of education on menstrual health management and empower all menstruating people to fully participate in society and live a healthy life. healthy and self determined.
“As long as we allow stigma and taboo to exist around periods, menstruating people will continue to be limited from realizing their full potential,” said Guillermina Alaniz, AHF Director of Global Advocacy and Policy at AHF. “A large percentage of the world’s population menstruates: governments must guarantee access to free or accessible hygienic supplies, as well as adequate facilities for the management of menstrual health. It’s 2022, not 1922. #NoMoreStigma around menstruation, it’s time.”
This May 28 Menstrual Health Day, AHF will celebrate various events around the world with a single slogan: #NoMásEstigma.
Some legislative milestones on menstrual health
Although the taboo persists when it comes to talking about menstruation and the needs of all menstruating people, there are legislative advances that can be implemented and strengthened.
- 2004 Kenya is recorded as the first country on the globe to remove the tax on menstrual management products.
- 2015 Canada removes taxes too.
- 2018 India legislates against tax on menstrual hygiene products after protests
- 2018 Australia has the same achievements after 18 years of protests and petitions.
- 2020 Scotland marks another global milestone by guaranteeing free menstrual hygiene products.
- 2021 Mexico approves legislative measures in April to remove VAT from menstrual hygiene products (including soap) and in April, an initiative presented by the Dignified Menstruation association and the Movimiento Ciudadano party bench.
- 2021 Argentina, in addition to legislative efforts, some local governments have free distribution of supplies, Tucumán, the municipality of Morón, Province of Buenos Aires, a pioneer in the country, followed by the City of Santa Fe, the Municipality of San Rafael, in Mendoza.
- 2022 Guatemala The Law for the Promotion of Dignified Menstrual Health is presented, which recognizes the right to menstrual health of all women in dignified, equal, free conditions and without any discrimination. Proposes that the Ministry of Education offer products from the Menstrual Basket to students in public establishments and education on the subject.
- 2023 Ecuador: The Bill on Menstrual Health and Hygiene was discussed in session 773 of the Plenary of the Assembly and passed the first debate. The objective of the standard is to regulate menstrual management through access and use of healthy and sustainable hygiene products.
Aids Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the world’s largest organization in the response to HIV and AIDS. It currently provides health care and/or services to more than 1.5 million people in 45 countries around the world: in the United States, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region, and Europe. For more information about AHF, visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth, and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare and Instagram: @aidshealthcare For Latin America and the Caribbean Twitter: @ AHFLatamyCaribe Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AHFLatamyCaribe