We marked the World Menstrual Hygiene Day on May 28. This year’s theme was empowerment: Empowering women and girls through good menstrual hygiene, hence #NoMoreLimits.
Men and boys have an active role to play in this empowerment. They can be ambassadors or change makers who challenge the status quo of myths, misconceptions, taboos and cultural beliefs that promote shame, fear, indignity and discomfort for women and girls during menstruation.
They can advocate menstrual hygiene management (MHM) best practices and spread awareness, as well as offer psychosocial support by understanding and appreciating vulnerabilities brought about by hormonal imbalance during menstruation.
Men can give infrastructure/financial support through making sure women and girls have access to safe spaces that provide privacy and security to enable them to change menstrual products; ensure adequate water and soap to wash their bodies; and support women and girls in purchasing/making menstrual products.
Lastly, as researchers/entrepreneurs, they can be part of environmentally friendly innovations on safe and hygienic disposal/reuse of used products.
It is the duty and a responsibility of men and boys to empower women and girls in menstruation.
Karanja Daniel, male menstrual hygiene management (MHM) champion. Kenya Sanitation and Hygiene Improvement Programme (K-Ship).