[citation needed]

Menstrual Hygiene Day
Also calledMHD or MH Day
Observed bypeople worldwide
SignificanceTo break taboos surrounding menstruation, raise awareness of the importance of good menstrual hygiene management worldwide.
DateMay 28
First timeMay 28, 2014
Related toGlobal Handwashing Day

Menstrual Hygiene Day (MHD, MH Day in short) is an annual awareness day on May 28 to highlight the importance of good menstrual hygiene management (MHM) at a global level. It was initiated by the German-based NGO WASH United in 2013 and observed for the first time in 2014.[1]

In developing countries, women's choices of menstrual hygiene materials are often limited by the costs, availability and social norms.[2][3] Adequate sanitation facilities and access to feminine hygiene products are important but opening discussion making adequate education for women and girls is of equal importance. Research has found that not having access to menstrual hygiene management products can keep girls home from school during their period each month.[4]

Menstrual Hygiene Day is an occasion for publicizing information in the media, including social media, and to engage decision-makers in policy dialogue. The day aims to advocate for the integration of menstrual hygiene management into global, national and local policies and programs.


'Satirtha - The Helping Hand' a non profit organization based in North Eastern state of Assam in India is working for a period friendly environment for adolescent girls and women in the region
Celebration of Menstrual Hygiene Day in Uganda
Female leaders in one urban poor community in Accra (Ghana) plan and implement menstrual health programs in schools, May 2018.
Celebration of Menstrual Hygiene Day in Bangladesh

Menstrual hygiene management can be particularly challenging for females in developing countries, where clean water and toilet facilities are often inadequate. In addition, traditional cultures make it difficult to discuss menstruation openly. This limits access to relevant and important information about the normal functions of the female body. This directly affects their health, education and dignity. Access to information can be considered a human right.[5][6]



In 2012, several organizations involved in public health began to break the silence on MHM and turn their attention to the issue globally, including grassroots organizers, social entrepreneurs and United Nations agencies.[5]

In May 2013, WASH United used a 28-day social media campaign, for example on Twitter, called "May #MENSTRAVAGANZA" to generate awareness about menstruation and MHM as important considerations within water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) development initiatives.[7][8] Those involved with the social media campaign, including WASH Advocates, Girls' Globe and Ruby Cup, were encouraged by the positive feedback for the "May #MENSTRAVAGANZA" and they decided to create a global awareness day for menstruation.[8]

On 28 May 2014, many people around the world celebrated Menstrual Hygiene Day for the first time with rallies, exhibitions, movie screenings, workshops and speeches.[9] There were 145 partners involved with the first MHD.[8][10]

For 2015, a hashtag campaign on social media lent a light-hearted look at challenging societal norms with the tag #IfMenHadPeriods.[11] The campaign by WaterAid, released in time for Menstrual Hygiene Awareness Day, created videos "spoof ads" where men are proud of having their periods and used "Manpons" instead of tampons.[11][12] The campaign helped "raise awareness about women who don't have access to 'safe water, hygiene and sanitation,' when their monthly visitor comes along."[12] Another aspect of the campaign is that it helped bring men into the conversation so that they could "help tackle the stigma in largely patriarchal societies and encourage women and girls to embrace their cycle with pride instead of shame."[13] In Uganda, 2015 celebrations kicked off with a march to Parliament where a charter on MHM was signed and then the march continued to the National theatre for presentations by primary and secondary schools.[4]



Raising awareness


Menstrual hygiene day is meant to serve as a platform to bring together individuals, organizations, social businesses and the media to create a united and strong voice for women and girls. It is designed to break the silence about menstrual hygiene management.[14][15]

The objectives of MHD include:[16][8]

  • To address the challenges and hardships many women and girls face during their menstruation.
  • To highlight the positive and innovative solutions being taken to address these challenges.
  • To catalyze a growing, global movement that recognizes and supports girls' and women's rights and build partnerships among those partners on national and local level.
  • To engage in policy dialogue and actively advocate for the integration of menstrual hygiene management (MHM) into global, national and local policies and programs.
  • To create an occasion for media work, including social media.

Menstrual Hygiene Day makes audible and visible a growing movement that promotes body literacy and autonomy, as well as gender equality.[16]

May 28 has symbolic meaning: May is the 5th month of the year, and the average length of menstruation is 5 days every month. Also, the menstrual cycle averages 28 days.[7]

Government accountability


For partners working in developing countries, the day is not only an opportunity to raise awareness, but also to strengthen government accountability related to MHM issues. For example, in 2015 the Ministry of Health in Kenya launched a national MHM strategy. Kenya, jointly with UNICEF, held a virtual conference on Menstrual Hygiene Management in Schools that same year.[17]

See also



  1. ^ "About Menstrual Hygiene Day | MHDay". Retrieved 2022-05-28.
  2. ^ UNESCO (2014). Puberty Education & Menstrual Hygiene Management - Good Policy and Practice in health Education - Booklet 9. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Paris, France, p. 32
  3. ^ Kaur, Rajanbir; Kaur, Kanwaljit; Kaur, Rajinder (2018). "Menstrual Hygiene, Management, and Waste Disposal: Practices and Challenges Faced by Girls/Women of Developing Countries". Journal of Environmental and Public Health. 2018: 1730964. doi:10.1155/2018/1730964. ISSN 1687-9805. PMC 5838436. PMID 29675047.
  4. ^ a b Amme, Grace (28 May 2015). "Uganda Celebrates Menstrual Hygiene Day". Uganda Radio Network. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
  5. ^ a b Sommer, Marni; Hirsch, Jennifer; Nathanson, Constance; Parker, Richard G. (July 2015). "Comfortably, Safely, and Without Shame: Defining Menstrual Hygiene Management as a Public Health Issue". American Journal of Public Health. 105 (7): 1302–1311. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2014.302525. PMC 4463372. PMID 25973831.
  6. ^ Imran, Myra (29 May 2015). "World Menstrual Hygiene Day Observed". The International News. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
  7. ^ a b "FAQ". Menstrual Hygiene Day. Archived from the original on 3 July 2015. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
  8. ^ a b c d Keiser, Danielle (27 May 2014). "Menstrual Hygiene Day: A Milestone for Women and Girls Worldwide". Impatient Optimists. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Archived from the original on 9 August 2018. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
  9. ^ "'Menstrual Hygiene Day 2015 Observed in Kohima". Nagaland Post. 31 May 2015. Retrieved 29 June 2015.[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ Gyesi, Zadok Kwame (2 June 2015). "Do Away With Taboos Surrounding Menstruation". Graphic. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
  11. ^ a b Kentish, Francesca (27 May 2015). "Is #IfMenHadPeriods the Best Campaign Ever?". Metro.co.uk. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
  12. ^ a b Masculino, Maria Leonila (31 May 2015). "New Spoof Ad Shows Men Having Menstrual Periods". Food World News. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
  13. ^ Cowan, Samantha (28 May 2015). "Ditch the Euphemisms: Menstrual Hygiene Day Calls Out Period Taboos". TakePart. Archived from the original on 24 July 2017. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
  14. ^ Bosco, Ijoo (29 May 2014). "E. Equatoria Marks Global Menstrual Hygiene Day". Sudan Tribune. Retrieved 29 June 2015 – via Newspaper Source.
  15. ^ "Break the Silence Around Menstrual Hygiene". The Daily Star. 31 May 2015. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
  16. ^ a b Bax, Tahmeena (28 May 2014). "Menstruation Misery for Schoolgirls as Sanitation Woes Hit Hopes for the Future". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
  17. ^ "Proceedings of the Menstrual Hygiene Management in Schools Virtual Conference 2015" (PDF). unicef.org. 24 May 2018. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 May 2018. Retrieved 24 May 2018.