Millions of adolescent girls and women around the world lack access to safe water and sanitation. Without this basic need, it makes it impossible for them to manage their menstruation in a hygienic way. Something has to change. And it begins with creating widespread awareness about this important issue.
Raising awareness and starting a dialogue about menstruation
Menstruation is a normal biological process, and a sign of reproductive health, yet in many countries, it is a taboo subject. In fact, in several parts of the world, menstruation is still perceived as something shameful and utterly private. Menstrual Hygiene Day, which falls on May 28th, was created to recognize the right of women everywhere to hygienically manage their menstruation—and to get people talking about the challenges women face worldwide.
Easy access to safe water plays an important role in menstrual hygiene
Lack of access to safe water and sanitation disproportionately affects women and girls. Furthermore, managing menstruation in a hygienic way is especially challenging, since it requires adequate sanitation facilities. This negatively affects women’s health, safety and dignity and keep girls out of school on a regular basis preventing their equal education. At One Drop, part of our commitment to providing sustainable access to safe water is about ensuring that women and girls are at the forefront of positive change.
Empowering women to improve the sustainability of water services
We believe in the importance of getting women and girls involved in water and sanitation management. By making women's voice louder and more articulated, and empowering them to make a difference, we’re giving them a better chance at improving their reproductive health. We’re also committed to providing private latrines, separate for boys and girls with safe water at schools, which creates an environment conducive to girls attending school.
In addition, we believe in the importance of women’s groups and having women participating in influential groups, such as WASH committees. This is crucial for raising awareness, creating a dialogue and engaging entire communities—including men, since they also have an important role to play in providing safe and hygienic environments for women.
How we created awareness about water and sanitation in South Rajasthan, India
A pilot project was implemented in 10 villages, from Pindwara to Bali, and was completed in August 2017. The local trainers conducted awareness sessions with the target group (women and adolescent girls and boys). The objectives of the sessions were to create awareness among the participants about the science behind menstruation, break the silence on the topic thus initiating conversation among mothers, daughters, friends and relatives, and provide knowledge on different kind of sanitary products.
Working together toward the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals
These goals from the United Nations are about ending poverty, fighting inequality and injustice and tackling climate change. More precisely, Goal 6 aims at ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation, and a specific target involves giving women and girls access to adequate sanitation and hygiene by 2030. To achieve this, the needs of menstruating women cannot be ignored. At One Drop, we stand behind this wholeheartedly and are committed to improving the lives of women and girls by helping them to get access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation.