Menstrual health management is an essential component of women empowerment. But unfortunately, women & girls in many communities lack the necessary menstrual hygiene products and sanitation facilities. According to UNESCO, approximately 130 million girls leave their schools due to menstrual health & hygiene issues. Another study mentioned that in developing countries like India, there is a 70% increase in reproductive tract infection (RTI) owing to poor menstrual hygiene.
Women empowerment and promoting women’s rights in menstrual health have emerged as part of significant global movements and have become a serious concern. By addressing the issue of menstrual health & hygiene, Cristiana Sandor, CEO, Stetho Health Systems, said, “Empowerment starts with providing females necessary sanitary products & educating them about the importance of menstrual health management.”
In This Article
What is Meant by Empowering Women?
Women empowerment is defined as the practice of promoting women’s sense of self-worth, freedom of their own choices & their right to influence societal change for themselves & others. It is closely aligned with female empowerment- a fundamental human right to achieving a more peaceful and prosperous world.
However, despite a growth in other matters, women & girls continue to face menstrual health & hygiene issues worldwide.
The Women’s Empowerment Principles
The women empowerment principles are designed in a collaboration with UN Global Compact and UN Women and can empower women in the workplace, community and marketplace. The principles are as follows:
Seven Principles of Women Empowerment
- Treat all people fairly at the workplace with proper respect & support with non-discrimination and human rights.
- Ensure the health, well-being & safety of all workers, whether male or female
- Create high-level corporate leadership for gender equality
- Promote education, training & professional development for women
- Champion equality through community initiatives & advocacy
- Implement supply chain, marketing practices & enterprises development that empower women
- Measure & report publicly on progress to create gender equality.
Why is Empowering Girls & Women So Important?
Empowering women & girls is essential for the health & social development of families, communities and countries. When women live safe, productive & fulfilled lives, they can utilize their full potential for the overall growth of society. Empowered women & girls can contribute their skills for better performance and raise happier & healthier children to help fuel sustainable economies and benefit societies & humanity at large.
How to empower women & girls through personal hygiene practices?
Providing Basic Sanitary Products
A resource mentioned that 2.3 billion people lack basic sanitation facilities globally & in the least developed countries, only 27% of people have the facility of handwashing with soap at their homes. It is essential to provide primary sanitary products like sanitary napkins, clean water, hand washing soaps, clean towels and more genital care products.
Proper Education regarding Menstrual Health Management
Menstruation is an essential part of a standard & healthy woman. But people have various taboos & are stigmatized by them due to lack of knowledge. And, to an uneducated woman providing even the best sanitary products is of no use if she does not know effective menstrual health management. Therefore, providing proper education regarding menstrual health & hygiene is crucial to empower women & girls.
Make them Vocal about their Issues.
It is seen that many women & girls are not vocal about their menstrual health issues due to various myths and taboos. Most of them have a shyness & negative perception of social judgement & ill-treatment from their surroundings. But it is essential to educate them to be vocal about their issues as menstruation is a vital & biological process for females.
Women empowerment is defined as the practice of promoting women’s sense of self-worth, freedom of their own choices & their right to influence societal change for themselves & others. And, menstrual health management is essential for empowering women for society’s overall well-being. Providing women with crucial sanitary products, educating them with menstrual health management & making them vocal helps empower women.
By emphasizing the importance of menstrual health & hygiene, Cristiana added, “I do not wish women to overpower men but for themselves. And, for that, every voice mattered. We considered every individual, community and country to understand their needs better and develop the best hygiene products.”
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