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WaterAid Australia and Pacific Menstrual Health Network Launch Innovative Video Series Ahead of Global Menstrual Hygiene Day

WaterAid Australia 3 mins read
Pacific Periods is launching ahead of World Menstrual Hygiene Day

In anticipation of Global Menstrual Hygiene Day on 28 May, WaterAid Australia, proudly in partnership with the Pacific Menstrual Health Network (PMHN), has launched its latest campaign; an innovative video series aimed at destigmatising menstruation across the Pacific region.

 

The initiative showcases a series of short videos shot in six Pacific countries, featuring local female storytellers sharing their personal experiences with menstruation and one male storyteller helping break the taboo. 

 

In the Pacific, people who menstruate often experience fear and shame, as well as practical challenges in managing their periods effectively, such as a lack of menstrual products, water and sanitation infrastructure or health services to managing menstruation.

 

Set in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, the videos capture the diverse experiences and cultural nuances surrounding menstruation in the region.

 

Addressing menstruation is essential to achieving gender equality and advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights, education and other outcomes in the Pacific. However, despite being a common experience, menstrual health remains largely neglected by policymakers, researchers and practitioners across the region.

 

Reflecting on this initiative, WaterAid Australia's leading expert on gender, equality and social inclusion Chelsea Huggett said,

 

"WaterAid Australia is proud to support the Pacific Menstrual Health Network's powerful project. These videos not only challenge taboos, but they empower women through the art of storytelling. They are powerful tools for destigmatising menstruation and advocating for menstrual health rights across the Pacific."

 

The PMHN Secretariat Hannah Tamata said The Network is extremely excited to launch the Pacific Period Stories.

 

“We are grateful for those who participated in the project. We have ventured on this journey to ensure our Pacific voices are amplified. We urgently need our Pacific governments to take action to develop and deliver menstrual health services to improve women's and girls' lives in the Pacific.  We can't discuss women and girls without addressing menstrual health and hygiene in the Pacific."

 

By harnessing the tradition of oral storytelling deeply ingrained in Pacific culture, the PMHN aims to foster empathy, understanding and acceptance of menstruation.

 

"Our approach to addressing menstrual health is based on evidence from an 18-country regional review we collaborated on last year with the Burnet Institute and UNICEF, showing the significant unmet need of menstrual health in the region” explains Tom Muller, Chief Executive of WaterAid Australia.

 

"Through these narratives, we seek to spark meaningful conversations, challenge societal norms and advocate for the prioritisation of menstrual health rights by decision-makers."

 

As Global Menstrual Hygiene Day draws near, WaterAid Australia is amplifying these crucial stories and encouraging all to contribute to the destigmatisation of menstruation across the Pacific.

 

Visit: https://www.wateraid.org/au/stories/pacific-period-stories

 


Key Facts:

·       703 million people in the world – almost one in ten – don’t have clean water close to home.1  

·       2.2 billion people in the world – more than one in four – don’t have safe water.1

·       Almost 2 billion people in the world – one in four – lack soap and/or water to wash their hands at home, if they have a place at all.1  

·       1.5 billion people in the world – almost one in five – don’t have a decent toilet of their own.1   

·       570 million people in the world – 1 in 14 – have a decent toilet but have to share it with people outside their family. This compromises the privacy, dignity and safety of women and girls.2 

·       Almost 400,000 children under five die every year due to diseases caused by unsafe water, sanitation and hygiene. That's more than 1000 children a day, or almost one child every one and a half minutes.2 

·       Investing in safely managed water, sanitation and hygiene services provides up to 21 times more value than it costs.3

 

[1] WHO/UNICEF (2023). Progress on household drinking water, sanitation and hygiene 2000-2022: special focus on gender. Available at: washdata.org/reports/jmp-2023-wash-households-launch (accessed 11 Jul 2023).  

[2] WHO (2023). Burden of disease attributable to unsafe drinking-water, sanitation and hygiene: 2019 update. Available at: who.int/publications/i/item/9789240075610 (accessed 24 Jul 2023).

 

[3] WaterAid (2021). Mission-critical: Invest in water, sanitation and hygiene for a healthy and green economic recovery. Available at: washmatters.wateraid.org/publications/mission-critical-invest-water-sanitation-hygiene-healthy-green-recovery (accessed 1 Nov 2023).


About us:

WaterAid

WaterAid is an international not-for-profit determined to make clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene normal for everyone, everywhere within a generation. We work alongside communities in 22 countries to secure these three essentials that transform people’s lives. Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 28 million people with clean water and nearly 29 million people with decent toilets.

 

To find out more visit www.wateraid.org.au follow @wateraidaustralia on Instagram, @WaterAidAus on Twitter, or find WaterAid Australia on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wateraidaustralia

 


Contact details:

For more information, please contact:

Tegan Dunne, Communications Manager, WaterAid Australia, tegan.dunne@wateraid.org.au

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