By Odette Hekster, Managing Director, PSI Europe
“It is important to dare to be shameless,” said Kenyan Senator Gloria Orwoba on her campaign for free access to menstrual products.
And we agree.
From menarche to menopause, menstruation is a critical aspect of the reproductive life cycle of women and all people who menstruate.
As long as menstruation is shrouded in stigma, sexual and reproductive health issues including unmet need for family planning, unaddressed menstrual discomforts and disorders as well as reproductive conditions will continue to exist and sustain the gender equity gap.
Improving menstruators’ access to the information, menstrual products and health services they need to manage menstrual health across the lifecycle can reduce sexual and reproductive health and rights vulnerabilities, promote healthier outcomes and unleash greater participation in educational and economic opportunities.
Not addressing period poverty in this broad sense of the word is not only shameful but also foolish. It’s a missed opportunity to improve the lives of half the population, their families, communities and entire nation.
For menstruators everywhere, keep daring to be shameless, Senator Orwoba.